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Japan's space agency confirmed Friday its Ikaros mission successfully unfurled a solar sail nearly 5 million miles from Earth, but it could be much longer before officials confirm whether the craft is being accelerated by the power of sunlight.The final deployment of the sail membrane came Wednesday, but the Japan Aerospace Exploration agency waited to receive confirmation of the event before announcing its success in a press release Friday.
JAXA also distributed images from cameras mounted aboard the spacecraft showing the ultra-thin sail deployed as planned as Ikaros traveled nearly 5 million miles from Earth.