IKAROS Solar Sail Deployment Successful
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency succeeded in deploying the IKAROS solar sail. Deployment began June 3rd. On June 10th, they confirmed that the sail was deployed. Congratulations to the IKAROS team!
--Ben 17:26, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
IKAROS Deployment Completed (Correction: Deployment Continuing)
--Ben 16:08, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Correction: IKAROS deployment is still underway. The sail is being deployed in stages, with the state of the sail and spacecraft verified along the way. --Ben 15:32, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
First Stage of IKAROS Sail Deployment Completed
According to the IKAROS Blog, the sail deployment sequence has begun. There is a English press kit available, which shows the deployment sequence on page 7. Tip mass separation was completed previously. It now appears that the 1st stage of sail deployment has been completed: release of four strips of folded sail material. Final deployment is planned for tomorrow, where the folded sail material is released into the final square shape.
--Ben 17:46, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
IKAROS Deployment Beginning
The Planetary Society Blog reports that the cameras on the IKAROS spacecraft captured images of deployed tip masses on May 28, 2010, that will help hold the spinning sail flat once it is fully deployed. Deployment of the sail will occur soon.
- IKAROS Blog (Japanese)
- IKAROS Blog (Google translation to English)
- IKAROS Channel (Japanese)
- IKAROS Channel (Google translation to English)
--Ben 18:57, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
IKAROS Moves to Verification Experiment Stage
May 24, 2010 (JST)
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) completed the initial check of the Small Solar Power Sail Demonstrator "IKAROS," which was launched on May 21, 2010 (Japan Standard Time,) from the Tanegashima Space Center. We will take a few weeks to carry out the first verification experiments, namely deployment of the solar sail and solar power generation by thin film solar cells.
--Ben 14:33, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
The Operation Status of the Small Solar Power Sail Demonstrator 'IKAROS'
May 22, 2010 (JST)
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) acquired the signal transmitted from the IKAROS at the Usuda Deep Space Station and confirmed its solar power generation and stable posture, and established communications. We will turn on onboard devices one by one.
--Ben 13:22, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
AKATSUKI and IKAROS ready for launch
JAXA is preparing to launch AKATSUKI (Venus Climate Orbiter) and IKAROS on May 17, 2010, at 21:44:14 UTC (May 18 6:44:14am Japan Standard Time, May 17 5:44:14pm Eastern Standard Time). A live broadcast will begin 30 minutes prior to launch.
- Live Broadcast - starting 5:15pm EST (May 18 6:15am JST, May 17 21:15 UTC)
- Space.com: Japanese Solar Sail Headed for Venus and Beyond
- Spaceflight Now coverage
--Ben 05:17, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
- Countdown Report - X-60 minute countdown began 4:44pm EST May 17. All systems go. --Ben 21:06, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
- Live coverage has begun --Ben 21:17, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
- Launch postponed due to weather conditions. --Ben 21:40, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
- AKATSUKI and IKAROS launch delayed to May 20 21:58 UTC (May 21 6:58am JST, May 20 5:58pm EST) --Ben 12:51, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
- 1 hr 24 minutes until the next launch attempt. 1 hour until live coverage begins. --Ben 20:34, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
- Live broadcast has started. 37 minutes to next launch attempt. --Ben 21:20, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
- 10 minutes and counting --Ben 21:48, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
- Liftoff of IKAROS and Akatsuki! --Ben 21:59, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
- Payload fairing has separated. 1st and 2nd stage have separated. 2nd stage engine has ignited. --Ben 22:08, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
- The second stage is in low Earth orbit (LEO) and has deployed 3 small satellites. --Ben 22:18, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
- The second stage burn to inject Akatsuki and IKAROS on a trajectory to Venus has finished. Akatsuki has separated from the launch vehicle. --Ben 22:27, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
- Jettison of the support structure for Akatsuki which covers IKAROS is coming up, followed by separation of IKAROS from the 2nd stage. This update from Spaceflight Now. --Ben 22:39, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
- IKAROS has separated from the launch vehicle. Congratulations to the IKAROS team on a successful launch! --Ben 22:45, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
JAXA releases detailed video overview of the IKAROS mission
--Ben 15:50, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
UK firm plans sails to clean up space
Researchers at the Surrey Space Center and EADS Astrium are working on a 5x5 meter solar sail nanosatellite called Cubesail, planned for launch in 2011, to demonstrate removal of debris from Earth orbit.
--Ben 18:35, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
AKATSUKI and IKAROS open to the media
The media was invited to view the AKATSUKI and IKAROS spacecraft. IT Media has several pictures of the two spacecraft.
--Ben 18:13, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
- Aviation Week: JAXA Reveals Akatsuki Venus Explorer
- MSNBC Cosmic Log: Solar sails take shape
- Spaceflight Now: Venus orbiter arrives at Japanese launch site
--Ben 14:26, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
Launch date of the Venus Climate Orbiter "AKATSUKI", carrying the IKAROS solar sail, set for May 18, 2010
The Venus Climate Orbiter "AKATSUKI" (Planet-C), carrying the IKAROS solar power sail demonstrator, is scheduled to launch on an H-IIA launch vehicle on May 18, 2010, at 6:44:14 AM from Yoshinobu Launch Complex at the Tanegashima Space Center.
--Ben 19:53, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
The Second International Symposium on Solar Sailing (ISSS 2010) will be held July 20-22, 2010, at the New York City College of Technology of the City University of New York
"The symposium will focus on recent advances in solar sailing technologies and near-term solar sailing missions. The topics to be addressed include dynamics analysis and testing of solar sails, advanced materials and structural concepts of solar sails, space environmental effects and a solar spacecraft protection, solar spacecraft charging, enabling technologies, concepts, dynamics, navigation, control, modeling, mission applications, and programs."
--Ben 22:39, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
The Planetary Society: Solar Sailing Messages from Earth
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center: NASA and Contractor Team Develop One Fast Satellite
FASTSAT-HSV01 (Fast, Affordable Science and Technology Satellite) is the first of a series of small satellite platforms intended to carry multiple small instruments and experiments at low cost on a variety of launch vehicles. NanoSail-D, previously attempted on a Falcon-1 test flight, is one of the initial experiments of this new satellite platform. --Ben 16:55, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Spaceflight Now: Two solar sailing trials readied for launch next year
ABC News picked this item up. http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/Space/sailing-space-reality/story?id=9077536
Planetary Society planning 3-mission solar sail project
The Planetary Society announced the project LightSail to fly three solar sails of increasing size and complexity over the next several years. An anonymous donor provided funding for the missions, which will begin with LightSail-1, a 3-meter square sail deployed from a 10x10x30cm Cubesat. This is similar to NASA's NanoSail-D. LightSail-2 will be larger and have increased sailing ability out of Earth orbit. LightSail-3 is intended to sail to the sun-Earth L1 Lagrange point to demonstrate solar wind monitoring for geomagnetic storm forecasting. The Planetary Society previously attempted to test fly a solar sail in the Cosmos 1 mission.
- The Planetary Society LightSail project page
- New York Times: Setting Sail Into Space, Propelled by Sunshine
- MSNBC.com: After letdown, solar-sail project rises again
- Planetary Radio: Celebrating Carl Sagan and a New Solar Sail With Ann Druyan
- The Planetary Society Blog: A million dollars says the Planetary Society can make a solar sail fly
--Ben 15:15, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
- Christian Science Monitor: Dream of solar sailing in space lives on in new project
- Metal Miner: Aluminum the Key to Travel Between the Stars
- The Space Review: Solar sailing gets its second wind
--Ben 15:59, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Even more coverage:
--Chris 11:55, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
IKAROS papers presented at the 27th International Symposium on Space Technology and Science
Several papers on the IKAROS solar sail mission and Japan's solar sail research in general were presented at the 27th International Symposium on Space Technology and Science and made available. Links to these papers are available on the IKAROS page. --Ben 15:11, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Space Politics: A call for reviving NIAC
Space Politics story on a report by the National Research Council on the effectiveness of the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC). The report recommends resinstatment of the program. NIAC, closed in 2007, funded revolutionary aeronautics and space concepts, including solar sails and related technologies. --Ben 19:59, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
Crunch Gear: They now use solar technology to propel satellites
Crunch Gear story on JAXA's IKAROS solar sail project. Also see JAXA's Japanese language summary of the project:
--Ben 20:02, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
The Times Online: 'Sailing' spacecraft could keep watch on Earth's polar regions
A Times Online story about polar observation and space weather applications of solar sails in artificial Lagrange orbits from a talk by Prof. Colin R. McInnes at the British Science Festival in Guildford. --Ben 14:30, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
Update: The Guardian also carried the story:
--Ben 19:28, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
StarTalk Radio Show: What's Exploration Worth?
StarTalk page. Louis Friedman, director of the Planetary Society, joins Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye to discuss the value of space exploration. Solar sails are discussed at about the 46 minute mark. --Ben 17:55, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Discover: The Elegant Way to Save Earth From Asteroid Destruction
MIT Technology Review blog page. Discussion about the challenges of navigating a solar sail on a high speed escape from the solar system due to relativistic effects. --Ben 14:13, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
Space.com: First Solar Sail Might Soon Fly
Space.com: Ann Druyan: How to Sail Beyond the Moon Landings
Space.com: Promising New Space Engines are Opening the Solar System
ESA video on advanced propulsion: "Electric ion engines; plasma drives, slingshot-style gravitational-assist maneuvers; ultra-light super-strong solar sails and other innovations are driving exploration forward beyond reliance on chemical rockets." --Ben 12:00, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
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. --Ben 12:00, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Solar Sail Update: New Opportunities
Update on The Planetary Society's solar sail activities. From Space Travel. Also see: The Planetary Society --Ben 12:00, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
Review of Solar Sails: A Novel Approach to Interplanetary Travel
Review of the book posted on The Space Review. SolarSailWiki article: Solar Sails: A Novel Approach to Interplanetary Travel --Ben 12:00, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
MESSENGER to flyby Mercury 2nd time October 6th
MESSENGER Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab page. MESSENGER used solar pressure to correct the trajectory without using propellant. The multimedia page shows how solar sailing reduced the flyby target size. --Ben 12:00, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
MESSENGER Sails on Sun's Fire for Second Flyby of Mercury