By Nick Gilbert
The solar-powered Telstar satellite is going to be 50 years old in the next two months. It was the first satellite to transmit intercontinental television broadcasts. The satellite has been launched on July 10, 1962, during the Cold War space race and includes 3,600 solar cells.
In addition, the satellite transmitted the first telephone call and live TV signal from space. Further, solar-powered satellites can also be used for intelligence-gathering and weather observation. Indeed, American based Bell Labs has developed this satellite. Silicon-based solar industry also started development from the early 1950s. The Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM) that produces solar cells and panels, wants to celebrate these milestones to honor the American solar heritage.
According to the book, “The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation,” by Jon Gertner, the country must follow Bell Labs to meet the solar demands. CASM accepts it and argues that the US must not overlook the American solar industry, since many show interest on inexpensive solar products imported from China
CASM stated that the government of China is dominating global solar industry at the price of the US solar producers and employment. China has introduced several export-intensive subsidies to the state-sponsored industry, of which 10 types are found to be illegal by the Department of Commerce. CASM also commented that the Chinese government has declared a trade war on the U.S. industry in 2008.
Infact, CASM was formed to move forward anti-dumping and anti-subsidy trade cases against the Chinese government and industry according to the world trade law. Seven companies formed this coalition in the US.