UK astronaut Tim Peake has supported the concept of solar farms in space.
Mr Peake, the first European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut from Britain to visit the International Space Station (ISS), has expressed confidence in the viability of this idea.
Tim Peake cited the decreasing cost of launching heavy payloads into space, particularly with the aid of SpaceX rockets, as a key factor making space-based solar power farms increasingly feasible.
The ESA has been actively exploring the potential of space-based solar power plants and has initiated two “concept studies” in the current year.
Their goal is to present a comprehensive business case for space-based solar farms to the EU by 2025.
Peake said: “It boils down to hard numbers at the end of the day. Launching thousands of tonnes of hardware into low Earth orbit is becoming absolutely viable.”
Peake revealed that the ESA’s calculations indicate that space-based solar farms would become financially viable when the cost of launching cargoes falls to $1,000 (£807) per kilogramme or less.
Currently, the actual costs hover around $2,700 (£2,181) per kilogramme.