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Solar sailboat successfully passes the test in space


Honestly, I really like the “science fiction” genre - because where, if not here, can one meet ambitious ideas that anticipate the future for a couple of hundred years? Often, the ideas provided by the apologists of the NF are picked up, and as a result we see dreams realized in reality. The idea of ​​a “solar sailing ship”, a spacecraft with a huge sail of hundreds of square kilometers, accelerated by the photons of the star, was used in various novels and stories of the mentioned genre several times (I myself remember about 3-4 works describing this technology). Now, instead of science fiction, you can read a report on the tests of the Japanese spacecraft with a solar sail.

The name of this spacecraft is Ikaros (we all understand why it is so named), and after successfully launching the solar ship into outer space, as well as after the equally successful deployment of the sail, the Ikaros maneuverability testing stage now begins. Let me remind you of what the principle of work of such a ship is - its movement is carried out due to the "solar wind" - the photon flux generously given by our star. Such pressure is minimal, but theoretically, a ship with “solar” pod can reach a speed of one-third (or higher) the speed of light. It is clear that a very long time is needed to achieve this speed, but the fact remains that no fuel engines that are available now can accelerate a ship to such a speed.
Of course, now no one thinks about accelerating Ikaros to a similar value. This is the first spacecraft of this kind (unmanned), which is tested by the Japanese on the subject of the reality of the use of ships of this kind in outer space. Navigation is carried out by rebuilding the sails, changing their orientation in space. In general, almost complete analogy with the wind, with certain assumptions.

In any case, the launch of such a ship is epoch-making - despite the fact that this event is not so much covered in the media, Ikaros is a new word in space technology. Its designers, like many science fiction writers, believe that long-distance travel in space will be possible precisely because of such spacecraft.

Of course, we will also look at how the Ikaros navigation test will pass, but for some reason it seems to me that everything will end well. But such a solar sail can simultaneously serve as a source of solar energy, with such and such an area (no, not hundreds of square kilometers, but this is for now), which will allow future “sunenders” to forget about the problems with energy supply.

Well, wish you good luck to the Japanese and their creation, "seven feet under the keel" to wish something.

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Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/100666/

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