Friday, June 11, 2010

Japanese satellite succesfully deploys solar sail

JAXA's IKAROS satellite has successfully deployed it solar sail and is getting power from the thin film solar panels. It'll be another six month's before we'll know whether the next part of the mission, actually being propelled by radiation pressure on the sail, is successful.

The JAXA press release has a really nice graphic explaining how the sail was unfurled.

For more on solar sails, see the SolarSailWiki.

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