Sending a small spacecraft into Earth orbit carrying large, reflective sails the planetary Society successfully completed a test flight in June 2015 that paved the way for a second, full-fledged solar sailing demonstration in 2017.
Solar sails use the sun’s energy to propel flight by light. Light is made of packets of energy called photons. While photons have no mass, a photon traveling as a packet of light has energy and momentum.
Solar sail spacecraft capture light momentum with large, lightweight sails. As light reflects off a sail, most of its momentum is transferred, pushing on the sail. The resulting acceleration is small, but continuous. Unlike chemical rockets that provide short bursts of thrust, solar sails thrust continuously and can reach higher speeds over time.
Dates & Times for this Exhibitor
- August 5 - 9.00 am - 5.00 pm
- August 6 - 9.00 am - 5.00 pm