A spacecraft 'Light Sail No. 2' receiving solar light on a sail demonstrates solar sailing on earth's orbit

by Jason Davis / The Planetary Society

Non-profit organization in which

the Planetary Society (Planetary Society) is, that solar sailing which was launched in June 2019 (solar sail propulsion) demonstrated ship expand the sail safely, and succeeded in demonstration of solar sailing on the earth orbit Was announced on July 31, 2019.

LightSail 2 Spacecraft Successfully Demonstrates Flight by Light | The Planetary Society

Solar sailing is a system in which a thin film mirror is made a huge sail and propulsive force is obtained by the reaction when light or ions emitted from stars such as the sun are reflected. Solar sailing is expected to be applied to spacecraft traveling on ultra-long distances because it does not need to carry fuel. The demonstration vehicle “ IKAROS ” launched by JAXA in 2010 with the H-IIA rocket demonstrated the world's first solar sailing, and further progressed to Venus and succeeded in swing-by.

The Light Sail 2 was launched at an altitude of 720 km in June 2019 at the Space Heavy 's Falcon Heavy . Light Sail 2 was scheduled to demonstrate solar sailing on Earth for a year.

Solar Sail Spacecraft 'Light Sail No. 2' Proceeding with Sunlight to Demonstration Experiment on Earth-GIGAZINE

11:47 July 23, 2019 (Pacific Standard Time), Light Sail No. 2 orbiting the southern North American continent succeeded in developing a sail of 32 m 2 . After that, while fine-tuning, Light Sail 2 took the orbit of the Earth.

by The Planetary Society

One week after the successful deployment of the sail, Light Sail 2 raised the altitude at the

apogee of the orbit by nearly 2 km, and conversely, the perigee lowered. The Planetary Society concluded that 'Lightsail 2's solar sailing was demonstrated,' because this orbital variation was only possible with solar sailing and was consistent with the pre-launch expectations.

by The Planetary Society

The transition of the apical height (blue line) and the perigee height (red line) of LightSail 2 is shown below, with the vertical axis representing the altitude and the horizontal axis representing a line chart of the date and day.

by The Planetary Society

'Our target level is to change the spacecraft's orbit using only the light pressure of the sun, demonstrating SolarSail controlled with CubeSat ,' said Bruce Betz, principal researcher at the Planetary Association. 'This verification has never been done before. I am very proud of this team. It was a long road, but we finally achieved the demonstration.' .

Also, 'I'm in 1977 when I was in his class that Carl Sagan talked about solar sailing (' Co-founder of the Planetary Association '), said Bill Nye, CEO of the Planetary Association. In the year, Johannes Kepler realized that the comet's tail must be produced by the energy from the sun, and the mission of Light Sail 2 was to be a major part of space flight and advanced space exploration. It will bring about change. '

in Hardware,   Science, Posted by log1i_yk