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Thread: First Solar Sail Launched

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    First Solar Sail Launched

    ISAS succeeded in deploying a big thin film for solar sail in space for the first time in the world.

    ISAS launched a small rocket S-310-34 from Uchinoura Space Center in Kagoshima, Japan, at 15:15, August 9, 2004 (Japan Standard Time). The launch was the culmination of a historic new technology, the world-first successful full-fledged deployment of big films for solar sail.

    A solar sail is a spacecraft without a rocket engine. It is pushed along directly by light particles from the Sun, reflecting off its giant sails. Because it carries no fuel and keeps accelerating over almost unlimited distances, it is the only technology now in existence that can one day take us to the stars.



    SOURCE: ISAS

  2. #2
    Titanium Member efc's Avatar
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    Read this article this morning. Am anxious to read the results of the experiment. Really interesting that it is a Japanese project. Lots of countries are becomming interested in space recently.
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    I hear over the course of the sailing, it should reach 1/10 the speed of light... theoretically. That is going quite fast. The problem is how do we cope with 0 gravity, food production, water, and so on. They'd basically need to build a ship the size of a town, gyrate it to produce an artificial gravity, and kind of build a biosphere of some sorts.

    I too am keen on seeing how this will play out.

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