Japanese scientists are deploying a fascinating new experiment this week: a solar sail. First raised by science fiction writers like Jules Verne in 1865, the Japanese have launched a “space yacht” that will be propelled by a solar sail.
Unlike prior space sails, Ikaros will be the first to propel a spacecraft by sunlight. The 20m-wide sail will push the space craft toward Venus. Scientists are ignoring the fact that Icarus was the Greek who burned up when he flew too close to the sun.
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3 thoughts on “Yachting In Space: Japanese Deploy Solar Sail to Propel Spacecraft Toward the Sun”
Not toward the Sun – the “solar wind” is a one-way street. I don’t think the laws of physics afford an analogy to tacking upwind.
Empyrean aplomb … it’s caught my imagination.
Are there empty seats that need to be filled? Maybe some members of every legislature and court should be given this once in a lifetime opportunity.
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