US and China
China is looking into solar power in space. Pictured: U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Xi Jinping, China's president, shake hands during a news conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017. Qilai Shen/Getty Images

China may be pursuing one of NASA's abandoned project after the announcement of its plan to finish its high voltage power transmission and wireless energy test necessary for a space-based solar power system.

The continued investment of different countries like the U.S. and China on space-based technologies may have possible implications for world affairs. U.S. President Donald Trump previously claimed that building a space force is necessary to defend against potential threats. China is taking advantage of the idea further by investing in solar power.

"If you can dramatically lower the cost of space solar, you can take over most of the energy market of the world," John Mankins, a member of the National Space Society board of directors and former Rand Corp. executive, said.

He was previously tasked to figure out if there was a way to bring electricity to the planet "by beaming it from space." It has the potential to change many things — especially who gets to pull it off first. However, Mankins never got the chance to realize this despite the support from the Bush White House and Congress in the 2000s. While NASA may have abandoned the idea decades ago, the Chinese government sees opportunity in it.

Mankins said that with China entertaining the idea, there should be a renewed interest on the matter. The Chinese have laid out the groundwork since ten years ago. They have started participating in international meetings five years ago and does seem ready to come out to the light about what they are doing.

"There is absolutely progress from the Chinese at this point. This is not posturing; this is a real plan from serious organizations with revered scientists in China. They have a perfectly good technical plan, and they can do it by 2030," Mankins added.

A solar power station based in space could capture the energy of the Sun that cannot make it to Earth and then utilize laser beams to meet the demands of the planet. NASA is not looking into space-based solar power, according to a NASA spokeswoman.

Even so, the United States has recently made its intention clear. Pentagon has been instructed to create a Space Force as part of the Air Force initially. The Department of Defense wants to invest as much as $14 billion into the development of the said force. Trump said in February that America should be fully equipped to protect its interests and that adversaries are working "very hard" on developing technology to undermine the country's security in space.