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djellison
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.

ngunn
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.
PhilCo126
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!
nprev
Nice little article on Reuters....go, TPS, go, LightSail!!!! wheel.gif
PhilCo126
75 years: http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/culturel...l-sagan-day.php
Tom Tamlyn
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
nprev
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.
MahFL
"humans may soon be solar-sailing".
Who on Earth can create such a stupid misleading comment for an artists impression ?

Juramike
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...
ngunn
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
centsworth_II
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."
Click to view attachment
Artists rendition of LightSail-1
by Rick Sternbach. Credit: Planetary Society
nprev
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
djellison
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.
Stu
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
Rick Sternbach
QUOTE (ngunn @ Nov 12 2009, 11:56 AM) *
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.


I thought about crackling up the Earth reflection a bit more, but I decided that most folks would have fixated on the unevenness of the reflection and not seen the bigger picture, so to speak. Sometimes complete photographic reality in art is not the best way to go.

Rick
ngunn
QUOTE (Rick Sternbach @ Nov 15 2009, 05:20 AM) *
Sometimes complete photographic reality in art is not the best way to go.


No gripe with that statement at all. As an artist you are free. My comment arose from the fact that when looking at that particular image and wanting to 'enter the scene' I found myself distracted by the apparent incongruity. But it's all subjective at the viewer's end too and maybe I'm in a minority of one!

At any rate I'm (of late) merely an enthusiast for space art whereas you're actually creating it, so count me as a fan. smile.gif
Stu
QUOTE (Rick Sternbach @ Nov 15 2009, 05:20 AM) *
Sometimes complete photographic reality in art is not the best way to go.

Rick


biggrin.gif biggrin.gif biggrin.gif Oh wow, thank you!! I'm gonna quote that every time someone wrinkles their nose up at my use of lens flare! tongue.gif
djellison
Your lens flare useage is a diagnosable psychiatric condition . Rick's use of artistic licence is entirely normal smile.gif
Stu
laugh.gif
Rick Sternbach
QUOTE (ngunn @ Nov 15 2009, 12:34 AM) *
No gripe with that statement at all. As an artist you are free. My comment arose from the fact that when looking at that particular image and wanting to 'enter the scene' I found myself distracted by the apparent incongruity. But it's all subjective at the viewer's end too and maybe I'm in a minority of one!

At any rate I'm (of late) merely an enthusiast for space art whereas you're actually creating it, so count me as a fan. smile.gif


And I have no gripe with your gripe. If there weren't any discussion about things, it would all be pretty boring. A good deal of the space art we do takes liberties with light levels and colors and so on, to make it more accessible, and there's a sliding scale of what is "correct" that runs all the way to total photographic realism, particularly in scientific visualization. Not counting, of course, the horribly gaudy 20X vertical representations of Venus from years back. smile.gif

And Stu, I do like a -teeny- bit of lens flare now and then (it can be such an overused gimmick), or some subtle play of light that guides the eye to a certain point. Not like in a certain recent movie. laugh.gif

Rick
PDP8E
The Brits have a killer app for sail-tech

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8590103.stm
punkboi
LightSail-1 Passes Critical Design Review

http://www.planetary.org/programs/projects...g/20100625.html
punkboi
LightSail-1 Video Update: Construction Begins!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pf-NeZwBko0...player_embedded
James Sorenson
I'm curious if the camera's that were shown in the video are off-the-shelf, or were they designed specifically for the mission of LightSail-1? If they are off-the-shelf, who manufactured the camera's and optics?
punkboi
The article below mentions three upcoming NASA missions (which will be flown on the venerable Delta 2 rocket) that would reach orbital altitudes that seem desirable for Lightsail-1...which The Planetary Society wants to send to an altitude of 800 km (500 miles):

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1207/16delta2/

OCO 2 (launch in 2014): 438-mile polar orbit

SMAP (launch in 2014): 423 miles above Earth

JPSS 1 (launch in 2016): 512 miles above Earth

Of course, I think TPS is planning to launch Lightsail-1 before the end of this year...so all of this may be a moot point
Explorer1
Almost two years since the last post; here's an informative update:

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis...ate-flight.html
punkboi
Another update by The Planetary Society:

"LightSail update: Three steps forward, one step back"

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis...hree-steps.html
punkboi
Can't wait for the announcement!

"LightSail is Ready for Launch! Join Us as the Countdown Begins"

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/mat-kaplan/...ady-launch.html
punkboi
"LightSail update: Of booms and pretty pictures"

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis...s-pictures.html
Juramike
Will launch on a Falcon Heavy in Spring 2016.
punkboi
Drat.

LightSail-A Has a Blown Radio Amplifier. Now What?

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis...lown-radio.html
punkboi
Nice!

LightSail Sails through Day-in-the-Life Test

While there is still much work to be done before the team decides whether or not to send LightSail-A on a 2015 shakedown flight, Tuesday’s test sent the spacecraft over a big project hurdle—and gave the team a much-needed morale boost.

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis...sails-ditl.html
punkboi
More LightSail Day-in-the-Life Multimedia, and a Community Image Processing Challenge

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis...ditl-media.html
punkboi
LightSail Completes Testing, Announcement Expected in January

LightSail has now been transferred to Cal Poly. The spacecraft will be integrated with its P-POD (Pico-PolySat Orbital Deployer) in mid-January. An announcement from The Planetary Society on the status of the 2015 test flight is expected around the same time. Following P-POD integration, the spacecraft will be taken to the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. for final acceptance testing.

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis...es-testing.html
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