A Japanese spacecraft that launched this week will be using an advancedtechnology that could mark a whole new chapter in the history of solarenergy. This week, Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)launched the Akatsuki craft to study conditions on the planet Venus.This particular mission will include a solar sail, which uses particlesfrom the sun to propel […] Read more
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is about ready to set sail forthe solar system using a special spacecraft that will test theperformance of solar-powered sails in space. JAXA will soon launch its Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated byRadiation of the Sun (IKAROS) satellite along with the Venus ClimateOrbiter AKATSUKI. The IKAROS satellite will be the first […] Read more
Emcore just announced that they have a contract with Dutch Space tosupply solar panels to power the Cygnus spacecraft. The spacecraft,which is being developed for NASA’s Commercial Resupply Service (CRS)project by Orbital Sciences Corp, should launch in 2011 and will beused to deliver cargo to the International Space Station. The total value of Emcore’s contract […] Read more
Thequest to conquer space has kept space researchers working on figuringout new ways to fuel their crafts for a longer duration. However, thetechnology is often limited by the amount of fuel necessary to poweraircraft to distant locations. The Planetary Society has announced a breakthrough in solar sailing with the development of a spacecraft dubbed LightSail-1. […] Read more
Solar Sailing,a dream for most space engineers can soon meet reality as researchersare planning a spacecraft that will be propelled only by photons andwill be lighter to launch and would range further than spacecraftpowered by conventional fuel.