One of the european big space companies is looking for partners to realise the orbital solar power demonstration mission.

Satellite for collecting solar energy will be used by EADS Astrium, then the enerby will be transmitted to Earth by an infrared lasew.  Company officials told the BBC they have already tested laser power transmission in the lab and that such a system would not post a safety risk if misdirected.

A main limitation, at the moment, is the size of the laser that can be built, Astrium Chief Technology Officer Robert Laine told the BBC. He said a small demonstration project that could transmit 10 to 20 kW of useful energy to the ground could be ready in the next five years.

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