This massive astral power tower just won the 2010 Moon Capital International Design Challenge. Designed by Bryna Anderson, a graduate student from Columbia University, the concept is based on American physicist Dr. David Criswell’s proposal for a Lunar Solar Power System. It works by collecting energy on the lunar surface using photovoltaic converters and then transmitting it to Earth via microwave generators.

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The competition received over one-hundred submissions from six continents and 26 countries. New York native Anderson describes her design as a “microwave provision of terrestrial energy collected with lunar photovoltaics which combines an interesting program and the notion of creating Earth-normal gravity on the lunar surface in a massive rotating torus.”

The Lunar Solar Power System is a theoretical idea put forward by Dr. Criswell. After solar power is collected on the moon’s surface it is beamed to earth, where a set of receivers would capture the microwave beams and supply commercial electricity to regional power grids. It is theorized that the system would continuously provide the equivalent of about two kilowatts per person.

Of course, there are a few drawbacks, one of which concerns the construction of massive solar arrays on the moon, a feat that would reportedly require 4,400 constructors working on the moon, 340 in low-lunar orbit, and 400 in low-Earth orbit.

Anderson’s design combines Dr. Criswell’s ideas with an approach towards creating Earth-normal gravity on the lunar surface using a massive rotating torus. Both concepts are hypothetically feasible, but unfortunately, far from achievable in the present day.

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