Friday, June 10, 2005

First Ever Solar Sail-powered Spacecraft to be Launched

Over 24 hours, Cosmos 1 will reach a speed of just 100 miles an hour. But while fuel-powered spacecraft accelerate quickly before cruising at a constant speed, a solar sail would continue to gather momentum, eventually reaching a speed far in excess of anything achieved by conventional spacecraft.

After three years a solar sail would be traveling at more than 100,000 miles an hour -- a speed that would enable it to reach Pluto, the solar system's most outlying planet, in just five years.
Cosmos 1, the first ever solar sail-powered spacecraft will be launched on June 21, testing a technology that many believe will power missions into deep space in the future.

No comments: