Below is the speech I hope President Obama gives on April 15th at the Space Summit in Florida.
I have been called upon to set a destination for further exploration. This is not the time for exploration or to set destinations. We have explored for five decades now. We are faced with a economic and an energy crisis. We have to find ways to get more from our investment in space besides inspiration and jobs. It is time space become part of the larger economy. It is time to stop exploring and start developing.
I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal before the end of my second term as president of building a solar power satellite. No single project, in this period, will be more impressive to mankind or more important for the long range development of space. It will be difficult but it is a project we can afford and we can achieve. A full scale space solar power satellite could bring a gigawatt of clean, carbon emission free power to the earth 24 hours a day.
This will not be an easy goal to accomplish, we will need a lot of help from thousands of engineers and scientist. A full scale solar power satellite is huge and will require a lot of launches from Florida to put up.
This is the time to recommit to US leadership in space. The United States should commit itself to returning to being an energy exporter. Space solar power can give us that. We could stop paying hostile nations billions of dollars a month if we were energy independent. If we were an energy exporter maybe our enemies would have to pay us for power. A space solar power demonstration satellite would put us well on the road to energy independence and returning to the glory days exporting energy.
While doing this we will be building the tools needed for all destinations outside of low earth orbit. The next president will have a clean canvas and a full set of supplies on which to draw his or her legacy in space. They will be left with a Heavy lift launch vehicle, long term life support and extraterrestrial resource utilization technology. So on Inaugration Day 2017 the new president can announce, the destination and it will be doable within two presidential terms.
The destination I set for NASA is to open possibilities for the nation not just for itself. Space solar power will do this. I call on NASA not just to lead the world in space capabilities but to lead the nation back to economic soundness and energy independence. Now is the time to be bold to maintain american greatness.
In the words of Martin Luther King “We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late.”