. 24/7 Space News .
Solar sail craft could revolutionize space travel
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (Sputnik) Aug 14, 2019

file illustration

The mission of the tiny crowdfunded solar-sailing spacecraft started on 25 June. Scientists say this propulsion technology should allow for speeds that would be impossible for traditional fuel-burning propulsion.

The LightSail 2 spacecraft, the first-ever crowdfunded solar-sailing spacecraft, successfully conducted tests in Earth's orbit, The Daily Express reported Monday. During the tests, the small 10 x 10 x 30 cm spacecraft changed its orbit using only propulsion created from the light of the sun.

"We're thrilled to announce mission success for LightSail 2," says Bruce Betts, LightSail program manager and a chief scientist from US-based Planetary Society, the developer. "Our criteria was to demonstrate controlled solar sailing in a CubeSat by changing the spacecraft's orbit using only the light pressure of the Sun, something that's never been done before."

The solar sail spacecraft should, in theory, be able to reach speeds impossible for conventional fuel-propelled spacecraft. As the light from the sun bounces from the solar sail's reflective surface, each photon generates a small push. While each push is barely detectable, it is constant, and, in the vacuum of space, there's nothing to slow the spacecraft from constantly accelerating, as long as there is light.

According to Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye, the idea of solar sailing is not new.

"Carl Sagan talked about solar sailing when I was in his class in 1977. But the idea goes back at least to 1607, when Johannes Kepler noticed that comet tails must be created by energy from the Sun," he said.

In 2010, Japan's IKAROS spacecraft was the first to prove the feasibility of solar sailing. However, the LightSail is different in that its funding was provided by donations of an estimated 50,000 people.

"It amazes me that 50,000 people came together to fly a solar sail," said Jennifer Vaughn, Planetary Society chief operating officer. "Imagine if that number became 500,000 or 5 million. It's a thrilling concept. LightSail 2 proves the power of public support."

Source: Sputnik News

Related Links
LightSail 2
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

Flight by Light: Mission accomplished for LightSail 2
Washington (AFP) July 31, 2019
Mission accomplished: the Planetary Society announced Wednesday that its LightSail 2 spacecraft, which was launched last month, had successfully raised its orbit using only the power of photons from the Sun. The team behind the $7 million crowd-funded venture said they had demonstrated a proof of concept for a new form of propulsion that could one day transform deep space exploration by doing away with the need for expensive rockets and fuel. "In the past four days the spacecraft has raised its ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Xplore To Send Celestis Memorials to the Moon, and Beyond

Two weeks of science and beyond on ISS

Orion Service Module completes critical propulsion test

Study identifies way to enhance the sustainability of manufactured soils

AFRL achieves record-setting hypersonic ground test milestone

Lockheed awarded $405.7M contract for Army's hypersonic missile

In-Space selects Orbex for Scottish launch in 2022

SpaceX launches Falcon 9 carrying Israel's AMOS-17 satellite

Dark meets light on Mars

New finds for Mars rover, seven years after landing

Methane not released by wind on Mars, experts find

Optometrists verify Mars 2020 rover's perfect vision

China launches first private rocket capable of carrying satellites

Chinese scientists say goodbye to Tiangong-2

China's space lab Tiangong 2 destroyed in controlled fall to earth

From Moon to Mars, Chinese space engineers rise to new challenges

OneWeb secures global spectrum further enabling global connectivity services

Arianespace launches INTELSAT 39 and EDRS-C

Embry-Riddle plans expansion of its Research Park through partnership with Space Square

Companies partner to offer a complete solution for space missions as a service

Q-Tech launches space-qualified multi-output LVDS Hybrid Oscillators

SEAKR reports Canada Patent for Advanced ASIC RF processing technology for satellite applications

Lockheed awarded $176M for repairs on Navy's SPY-1 radar

Revolutionary way to bend metals could lead to stronger military vehicles

NASA plans for Webb to zero in on TRAPPIST-1 atmospheres within a year

Dead planets can 'broadcast' for up to a billion years

Timeline suggests 'giant planet migration' was earlier than predicted

Hordes of Earth's toughest creatures may now be living on Moon

Hubble showcases new portrait of Jupiter

Jupiter's auroras powered by alternating current

Kuiper Belt Binary Orientations Support Streaming Instability Hypothesis

Study Shows How Icy Outer Solar System Satellites May Have Formed

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.