This website contains information on solar sailing, an old idea but a new technology for moving around and doing things in space. Solar sails are very large and lightweight mirrors that are pushed through space by sunlight. Traditionally, spacecraft have used rockets or thrusters, which propel material in one direction to travel in the other. To learn more, take a look through the sections listed below.
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- May, 2009 The Atlantic: Across the Universe - an article about The Planetary Society's efforts to fly another solar sail demonstration mission - Cosmos 2. Their previous attempt, Cosmos 1, suffered a launch vehicle failure.
- April 3, 2009 Solar Sail Update: New Opportunities from Space Travel. Update on The Planetary Society's solar sail activities.
- October 6, 2008 Review of Solar Sails: A Novel Approach to Interplanetary Travel on The Space Review
- October 1, 2008 MESSENGER to flyby Mercury 2nd time October 6th. MESSENGER used solar pressure to correct the trajectory without using propellant. The multimedia page shows how solar sailing reduced the flyby target size.
- September 5, 2008 MESSENGER Sails on Sun’s Fire for Second Flyby of Mercury
- August 25, 2008 Universe Today: How to Save the World From Asteroid Impact: Plastic Wrap - First prize winner of the Move an Asteroid competition, Australian PhD student Mary D'Souza, proposes wrapping an asteroid with reflective film to deflect its orbit with solar radiation pressure.
- August 2, 2008 NanoSail-D launch was lost Kimbal Musk's blog
- July 31, 2008 Science@NASA: A Brief History of Solar Sails