Over 70 years ago, Isaac Asimov wrote a short story entitled Reason in which a space station outfitted with solar collectors beamed energy through microwaves to various planets.
Perhaps this story is the inspiration behind a proposal for a new project by a Japanese construction firm to build a huge solar array along the equator of the moon for the purpose of collecting solar energy and beaming the power back to Earth. The project is referred to as LUNA RING and a tentative date for construction is 2035.
The array would be a whopping 6,835 miles long with a height of about 250 miles. While robots would be designed to construct concrete supports for the panels from the moon’s soil, the cost of launching panels and other equipment in space has not been addressed.
And cost and construction are not the only concerns. Being that humans actually landed on the surface of the moon nearly 45 years ago but have not been back since is yet another telling hurdle to the plan.
So, we gotta ask – does LUNA RING sound like a plausible plan or a pipedream? Installing solar panels on the moon definitely shows a strong level of commitment to get away from fossil fuels and especially nuclear power, a larger step than what Japan is already doing in the wake of the recent tsunami and subsequent nuclear plant disaster in 2011.