August 14, 2004

another small step...

Lance Jonn Romanov writes

Japan Deploys Solar Sail Film in Space

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...

It was just a brief experiment, but very pleasing to contemplate...

Posted by John Weidner at August 14, 2004 12:48 PM
Weblog by John Weidner