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LightSail, Planetary Society's Solar Sail mission (Redux)
Juramike
post Nov 9 2009, 09:02 PM
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http://www.planetary.org/about/press/relea...Again_with.html


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djellison
post Nov 9 2009, 09:26 PM
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YAY!! Thank you anonymous donator!!

I'm glad has grown up a bit, is bigger, and we'll all be around to enjoy this - it's a special project in so many ways.

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ngunn
post Nov 9 2009, 09:50 PM
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I was wondering what they were about to announce, and for me this is the best announcement they could possibly have made. As a planetary society member but not a millionnaire I have to choose carefully between the many good projects for which they solicit contributions. This is the one towards which my unavoidably modest contribution was the most heartfelt. The technology will be elegant and clean, yet the scope of imagination and ambition that lies behind it is truly breathtaking. I hope this time their diamond in the sky will fly - and inspire millions young and old as it should.
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Guest_PhilCo126_*
post Nov 10 2009, 11:53 AM
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What a way to commemorate the late Dr Carl Sagan... who's more beloved nowadays than ever before!
Deploying the solar sail will be the hardest bit of the mission, so all the best to the mission!
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nprev
post Nov 11 2009, 01:58 AM
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Nice little article on Reuters....go, TPS, go, LightSail!!!! wheel.gif


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Guest_PhilCo126_*
post Nov 11 2009, 03:38 PM
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75 years: http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/culturel...l-sagan-day.php
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Tom Tamlyn
post Nov 11 2009, 08:57 PM
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There's a longer article in the New York Times, with some nice graphics. There's also an interesting -- but extremely negative -- comment from a reader who says he worked on solar sails at jpl and claims that the experiment won't show anything.

TTT
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nprev
post Nov 11 2009, 09:15 PM
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Not necessarily a bad thing. Thoughful technical criticism is valuable regardless of the source, and this is free to boot! smile.gif Nobody ever sees all aspects of an issue, which is one reason why systems engineering was invented.


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MahFL
post Nov 12 2009, 02:35 PM
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"humans may soon be solar-sailing".
Who on Earth can create such a stupid misleading comment for an artists impression ?

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Juramike
post Nov 12 2009, 04:00 PM
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Depends on your definition of "soon".

Given new developments in materials technology, radiation protection technology, and space habitation technology I could imagine lofting up a self-supporting station using a massive (multi-thousand km) solar sail for a long voyage. But I think we're still a few generations off....(but I'd love to be proved wrong.)

(Fun fact: the entire Wright brothers flight could have occured inside a Boeing 747. Could the general public have imagined a 400 person passenger jet routinely traversing the Pacific at 37,000 feet back in the late 1800's?)


Baby steps...


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ngunn
post Nov 12 2009, 07:56 PM
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Also depends on what you mean by 'solar sailing'. After all you can fly a kite or sail a model boat without being on board. My gripe is with the artwork itself. It appears to show a wrinkly surface on the sail panels yet the Earth's reflection is not broken up accordingly. Fortunately both the artwork and the caption pale into insignificance beside the fact that the project is going ahead. smile.gif smile.gif smile.gif
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centsworth_II
post Nov 13 2009, 04:57 AM
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Re: "humans may soon be solar-sailing"

The illustration is of the very light sail that the Planetary Society hopes to fly by 2011. So, yes, the humans at the Planetary Society will hopefully be solar-sailing soon. Vicariously to be sure. smile.gif

By the way, google the artist, he seems quite accomplished.

"LightSail-1 will have four triangular sails, arranged in a diamond shape resembling a giant kite.... We plan to design, develop, build and test the LightSail-1 spacecraft so that it can be ready for launch by the end of 2010."
Attached Image

Artists rendition of LightSail-1
by Rick Sternbach. Credit: Planetary Society
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nprev
post Nov 13 2009, 05:18 AM
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QUOTE (centsworth_II @ Nov 12 2009, 08:57 PM) *
By the way, google the artist, he seems quite accomplished.


Oh, yes...you could definitely say that. wink.gif


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djellison
post Nov 13 2009, 08:44 AM
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I will say - having tried in the past a bit - doing animations of stuff like reflective foil in deep space - it's a big challenge.
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Stu
post Nov 13 2009, 09:07 AM
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QUOTE (centsworth_II @ Nov 13 2009, 04:57 AM) *
By the way, google the artist, he seems quite accomplished.


... and recently posted here on UMSF, by the way... smile.gif


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