Over the weekend, the LightSail satellite unfurled its gigantic solar sail to help propel it through space. Now, the first images to be beamed back from the satellite prove that it’s really up and running.
For everything that is good out there, there’s always someone to naysay it. So how to respond when the haters come for our solar sails? With poetry, friends, only poetry.
2,465. That’s the number of satellites that are whipping gracefully around the Earth as you read this.
Stephen Baxter's new novel Proxima includes a sentient solar sail, but this unique type of spacecraft has a long history in science fiction — and an even longer one in science. Though the idea is 400 years old, it might still become the kind of vessel that we eventually ride to the stars.
Solar sails are all about "propellantless" propulsion — using photons from the Sun (as opposed to an onboard fuel supply) to push a spacecraft through space. Building on the lessons learned from smaller solar sail missions, like NASA's NanoSail-D and JAXA's IKAROS, NASA is gearing up to to launch the biggest solar…
A lost scene of Close Encounters of the Third Kind? No, although it will go to space at one point.
Less than two months after being unfurled in space, Japan's IKAROS solar sail accomplished its ambitious aim—becoming the first spacecraft to travel in space, powered by the sun. Now, it's demonstrated its fine steering ability.
Good news for the Little Japanese Solar Sail That Could, as the first images of the solar sail spread out in full deployment have been snapped. All is going according to plan, says the space agency, and "flying" looks possible.
The 20meter (diagonally) solar sail Ikaros we mentioned last month has been successfully unfurled in space by its Japanese team. Now it's a waiting game to see if it can be used for solar-powered travel as planned.