Jim Hendershot's response to my letter (AW&ST Jan. 16, p. 8; Jan. 2, p. 10) in which he warns of dire consequences of space-based solar power (SBSP) overlooks that SBSP technology has come a long, long way.
Current planning is that human exposure to microwave-beam energy at the Earth's surface receiver array will be comparable to the combination of other terrestrial energy sources such as existing microwave communications transmission or cell-phone towers.
And if by chance a beam “strays,” it will be shut down instantly by redundant systems, primarily to avoid wasting energy—not to avoid “frying” people. Those folks who are truly concerned should also avoid microwave ovens, cell phones, TVs, CAT scans or MRIs.
San Diego, Calif.