Headlines > News > IKAROS Successfully Deployed it's Solar Sail

IKAROS Successfully Deployed it's Solar Sail

Published by Matt on Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:39 pm via: JAXA
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The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) began to deploy the solar sail of the Small Solar Power Sail Demonstrator “IKAROS” on June 3 (Japan Standard Time). On June 10 (JST,) we have confirmed that it was successfully expanded and was generating power through its thin film solar cells at about 770 km from the Earth.

A Solar Sail gathers sunlight as propulsion by means of a large membrane while a Solar “Power” Sail gets electricity from thin film solar cells on the membrane in addition to acceleration by solar radiation. Credit: JAXA

A Solar Sail gathers sunlight as propulsion by means of a large membrane while a Solar “Power” Sail gets electricity from thin film solar cells on the membrane in addition to acceleration by solar radiation. Credit: JAXA

The IKAROS was launched on May 21, 2010 (JST), from the Tanegashima Space Center.

We will measure and observe the power generation status of the thin film solar cells, accelerate the satellite by photon pressure, and verify the orbit control through that acceleration. Through these activities, we will ultimately aim at acquiring navigation technology through the solar sail.

Second stage deployment completion taken by a monitor camera. Credit: JAXA

Second stage deployment completion taken by a monitor camera. Credit: JAXA

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