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Global warming and other environmental dangers may be solved by unlikely source -- space technology

News headlines are filled with discussion and debate emanating from the COP15 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. As expected, the majority of climate change discussion surrounding the conference has focused on traditional environmental measures - regulations to restrict carbon emissions, exploration of alternative energy sources, etc.

A new book Paradise Regained: The Regreening of Earth (Springer, $27.50) argues that solutions for many of the current environmental crises on Earth can be found in space technology. Traditionally, the environmental movement has often been at odds with space exploration and the space programs of various nations. However, Les Johnson, Gregory Matloff and C Bangs, the co-authors of Paradise Regained, explain that that division hampers potential space technology solutions for many of the pressing environmental issues on Earth.

In what may sound like science fiction, the authors of Paradise Regained offer several examples of space technology solutions for environmental crises on Earth. Those solutions include:

  • Space-based solar power plants to reduce dependence on fossil fuels
  • Extracting Helium 3 from the lunar soil and building a fusion reactor using Helium 3
  • Mining asteroids for resources

Online videos about Paradise Regained are available for viewing at:

About the authors:

Les Johnson, a physicist, is the Deputy Manager of the Advanced Concepts Office at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Gregory Matloff teaches astronomy and physics at New York City College of Technology, CUNY. He has authored eight books and more than 100 scientific papers on many aspects of astronomy, astronautics and related fields.

Merging art and science, C Bangs's first funded work for NASA in 2001 was on the development of a radiation-resistant solar-photon holographic sail. Her subsequent work as a NASA faculty fellow was an amalgam of mythologies, science and hope for human evolution.


Contact: Joan Robinson

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