China is studying the feasibility of setting up a solar power plant in space with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions on Earth and reducing energy shortages, the China Daily reported today.
According to the publication, researchers from Chongqing University, Xidian University and the Chinese Academy of Space Technology are planning to build a prototype for the transmission of solar energy waves.
Xie Gengxin, one of the researchers, quoted by the newspaper, said that the prototype of the plant will be located in Chongqing and that the main focus of the investigation will focus on the distance from the delivery of energy.
“We plan to launch four to six balloons [attached to the prototype] at an altitude of 1,000 meters,” said the researcher.
If these first tests are successful, the next step, according to Xie, will be to send balloons into the stratosphere to continue the investigation at a greater distance.
Earlier this year China became the first country to land a probe on the far side of the moon.
The goal is to test plant growth and catch radiofrequency signals, usually blocked by the earth’s atmosphere.
The mission also illustrates Beijing’s growing ambition in space, a symbol of China’s progress.
This year, Beijing plans to start construction of a space station with a permanent presence of crew members and, next year, send an exploration vehicle to Mars.