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SCI/TECH: Japan Introduces the Solar Sail

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posted on Aug, 12 2004 @ 10:23 AM
Scientists are quickly pouring over ways to develop technology that would allow spaceships to travel to distant planets. While nuclear fusion engines are often looked to as the solution to this problem, Japan has developed a new technology using solar sails that may allow us to travel to Mars and beyond sooner than anyone thought.
Japan has unfurled a delicate solar sail in space, a device which some scientists believe could enable travel to far away planets. The Japanese Institute of Space Astronautical Science (ISAS) has tested two sails aboard its S-310-34 rocket.

In theory, solar sails reflect light particles from the Sun, gaining momentum in the opposite direction to propel spacecraft forward. Some hope solar sails will one day help humans travel to the stars. Because solar sails continue accelerating, they could reach distant targets in amazing times.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Combined with the technology reported on by kegs in this ATSNN report, , a mission to reach distant stars could possibly launch within the next 40 years.

Once a spacecraft went too far, the sun could no longer make a definite impact on the sails, so scientists are developing a laser system to continue to propulsion.

The US is no longer the dominate leader in new space technology. That is obvious from the fact that so many other countries are making breakthroughs of this nature other than the United States.

[edit on 8/12/2004 by lockheed]

[edit on 12-8-2004 by John bull 1]

posted on Aug, 12 2004 @ 10:24 AM
Lock, I seen a thread like this a couple of days ago, so this might be a repeat.

posted on Aug, 12 2004 @ 10:30 AM
Ok, thanks for the .s up SC.

I think I need to browse ATS more before I make new posts :-p

Here is is:

ed: added post I neglected to see earlier

[edit on 8/12/2004 by lockheed]

posted on Aug, 12 2004 @ 01:49 PM
well I like to know when they plan to test speed.
oh yeah fusion is still in its first stages and
now they first try to use fision. example Jimo / prometheus.

posted on Aug, 12 2004 @ 09:55 PM
yeah ..that's great if you are traveling away from the sun...but you are screwed when you want to return.

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