GOOD NEWS, GET YOUR GOOD NEWS HERE. Turns out the SPS-ALPHA is emerging as the first truly practical solar power satellite. Remember how the SunTower and Sandwich satellites used lots of little panels, whereas the disk was one massive, integrated satellite? The SPS-ALPHA's designer, aerospace engineer John Mankins, has found the happy medium with this proposal.
The satellite will be made of thousands of small solar panels, yes, but they will not be physically connected to each other. Rather, they will use the emerging technology of swarm intelligence to communicate with each other, similar to a colony of ants or a hive of bees. This will allow the SPS-ALPHA to cover a lot of space while avoiding the giant price tag involved with integrated solar satellite designs. WIN WIN! Learn more about the SPS-ALPHA here, and tell us how you'd like to see green technology develop in the comments!