четверг, 1 августа 2019 г.

Mission accomplished for the solar sail LightSail 2


The Planetary Society logo.


August 1, 2019


LightSail 2 has managed to raise its altitude thanks to the pressure of solar radiation in orbit around the Earth.



Image above: The solar sail is a small satellite with a square of 32 square meters of thin film, light and reflective polyester Mylar.


The American organization Planetary Society announced Wednesday the success of the operation of its solar sail: already in orbit around the Earth, LightSail 2 has managed to raise its altitude thanks to the pressure of solar radiation.


The team behind the $ 7 million project said it has demonstrated a new form of propulsion that could one day transform distant space exploration. Because this bread-sized satellite equipped with a huge glossy polyester sail is powered neither by a motor, nor with the help of fuel or solar panels, but only by the pressure of the elusive photons of the Sun.


«Over the past four days, the spacecraft has climaxed, or its highest point in orbit, about 1.7 kilometers through its solar sail,» said Bruce Betts, LightSail 2 project manager.




Planetary Society post on Twitter

It becomes the first ship to use a solar sail to propel itself into Earth orbit and the second solar sail to fly successfully after the Japanese Ikaros in 2010.


«We officially declared the success of the mission,» said Bill Nye, director of the Planetary Society, on Twitter. «This technology allows us to take objects to extraordinary destinations in the solar system, and perhaps beyond, in a way that was never possible because we do not need fuel or fuel control systems, «he said.


He added that he would like to see technology applied to missions such as the search for life on the planet Mars, on the icy moon of Jupiter, Europe, and Titan, the largest moon of Saturn. According to him, solar sails could «lower the cost of these missions».


Related article:


The solar sail LightSail 2 opened in space
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-solar-sail-lightsail-2-opened-in.html


Related link:


The Planetary Society: http://www.planetary.org/


Images, Text, Credits: AFP/The Planetary Society/Orbiter.ch Aerospace/Roland Berga.


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