Japanese scientists have succeeded in transmitting energy wirelessly, in a key step that could one day make solar power generation in space a possibility, an official said Thursday. Researchers used microwaves to deliver 1.8 kilowatts of power—enough to run an electric kettle—through the air with pinpoint accuracy to a receiver 55 meters (170 feet) away. While the distance was not huge, the technology could pave the way for mankind to eventually tap the vast amount of solar energy available in space and use it here on Earth, a spokesman for The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said. "This was the first time anyone has managed to send a high output of nearly two kilowatts of electric power via microwaves to a small target, using a delicate directivity control device," he said. JAXA has been working on devising Space Solar Power Systems for years, the spokesman said.
Solar power generation in space has many advantages over its Earth-based cousin, notably the permanent availability of energy, regardless of weather or time of day.
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