NASA set to launch Sunjammer, the largest solar sail in history, with hopes to revolutionize near space travel
It might not get you all the way to Cardassia Prime, but NASA hopes its newly launched solar-sail Sunjammer program will lead to a future where propellantless space craft are used for a multitude of functions beyond the Earth’s atmosphere.

“Once proven, solar sail technology could enable a host of versatile space missions, including flying an advanced space-weather warning system to more quickly and accurately alert satellite operators and utilities on Earth of geomagnetic storms caused by coronal mass ejections from the sun,” NASA said in a release.

Additionally, NASA sees the project as something that can work to help clean up the piles of floating space garbage in orbit. (NASA)

Solar Sails: The Future of Space Travel

Non-profit group Icarus Interstellar is devoted to finding a way to travel to another star system and they believe the future is in solar sails; these feats of engineering would be 100 kilometers or larger and could make an interstellar voyage in 1,000 years. While this may seem like a long time to you and I, it is certain that if one were launched, someone would be on the receiving end of the radio-transmitter for the 1,000 years to come. The group believes that solar sails are the future as fusion power has not yet been developed to a usable extent, and the other alternative, anti-matter rockets, suffer from a serious design flaw and a lack of fuel.

Solar sails aren’t as new as you may think, nor are they a piece of speculative science fiction. There have been mentions of such a device as far back as Johannes Kepler, James Maxwell, Jules Verne, Albert Einstein and many others, and as a proof of concept in 2010 Japan launched the first interplanetary spacecraft with solar a solar sail as a primary propulsion system, IKAROS. IKAROS deployed a 200m2 solar sail and spent 6 months travelling to Venus and then begun its three-year journey to the far side of the Sun.

It has been calculated with a few assumptions that the maximum thrust available to a craft would be 0.01 Newtons. This is very small, but when taken to account of an extended period of time, this could amount to a velocity much greater than that provided by any conventional rocket. In order to further the research in this area NASA plans to launch a spacecraft, Sunjammer, in 2014 which will feature the largest solar sail to date which will measure 38m across.

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Famed science fiction writer Sir Arthur C. Clarke is finally headed for space — five years after his death.

Though the author of “2001: A Space Odyssey” died in 2008 in Sri Lanka, scientists from NASA today announced plans to send his DNA into orbit around the sun in 2014 aboard the Sunjammer, an astonishing solar-powered spacecraft.

Called the Sunjammer Cosmic Archive (SCA), the flying time capsule is a first in the history of space travel, carrying digital files of human DNA including Clarke’s aboard the sun-powered space ship.

The DNA is to be contained in a “BioFile.” Other so-called MindFiles, including images, music, voice recordings, and the like, provided by people all around the globe, will also be included in the cosmic archive for future generations — or perhaps other civilizations — to see. (via Sir Arthur C. Clarke finally going to outer space on Sunjammer solar sail spacecraft » Space News)

NASA to launch “Sunjammer” in 2014.

The largest solar sailer ever made, the Sunjammer project is designed to demonstrate the value of propellantless propulsion. The solar sail itself is nearly a third of an acre, seven times larger than any before it. It will weigh 70 pounds, a tenth the weight of the previously largest solar sail in space.

The name is in honor of the ‘64 Arthur C. Clarke story of the same name.

(via NASA )
World's Largest Solar Sail to Launch in November 2014

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A huge solar sail designed to demonstrate the viability and value of propellant­­­-free propulsion is slated to blast into space in November 2014, mission officials say.

Am I the only person who thought of this?

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Time to crack open that box of Liquorice Allsorts with another random three way, first up is the sensational Denver boy Rumtum with a big beat showdown Subsonic Flavo(u)ring. Next, changing course as we generally do, is some speedcore from Oslo’s stern faced finest Sunjammer and his HC.XM track, picked this one up from Datasette’s Soundcloud playlist. FInally, we finish off with a bit of an anthem, well a lot of an anthem, the monster sounds of another Com Truise remix from the quartet Everything Everything and their infectious Kemosabe release.

Everything Everything tunes are on sale on 7" vinyl through Townsend Records; Check out Sunjammer’s vinyl and digital discography through Discogs; Rumtum is available here through Holy Underground.  

Sunjammer, World's Largest Solar Sail, Passes Key Test for 2015 Launch

Sunjammer, World’s Largest Solar Sail, Passes Key Test for 2015 Launch

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A NASA plan to launch the world’s largest solar sail into space and unfurl it like a giant parasol has passed a major test as the mission moves closer to a planned January 2015 launch. Sunjammer mission successfully deployed part of its huge solar sail in a test on Sept. 30, revealing the…


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