SETI Solar Mini Sail Project

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Message 1683676 - Posted: 24 May 2015, 13:05:09 UTC
Last modified: 24 May 2015, 13:19:00 UTC

Is the cost of a SETI mini solar sail kit project at $500 possible?

Inspiring video animation of a Solar Sail in space.
http://www.space.com/26488-solar-sails-could-beat-the-rocket-equation-animation.html#ooid=pjY2V5cDpVU5cY3qPtYv3wNXstzeSAWW
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Message 1683723 - Posted: 24 May 2015, 15:23:15 UTC

A LightSail from Planetary Society has just been put in orbit by the X37-B drone US Air Force spaceplane launch.
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Message 1683845 - Posted: 24 May 2015, 23:28:08 UTC - in response to Message 1683723.  
Last modified: 24 May 2015, 23:28:28 UTC

A LightSail from Planetary Society has just been put in orbit by the X37-B drone US Air Force spaceplane launch.
Tullio

Fantastic stuff and a long march to get there including a long sad Russian diversion causing years of delay and cost.

Here's watching!

http://sail.planetary.org/missioncontrol


Keep searchin',
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Message 1689162 - Posted: 8 Jun 2015, 12:51:49 UTC

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Message 1694192 - Posted: 21 Jun 2015, 6:12:14 UTC - in response to Message 1689162.  

You may want to consider a last minute kickstarter support of the Planetary Society's Light Sail project (just a few days left), which will send a separate LS cubesat for a full attempt at solar sailing. The first lightsail cube sat recently completed its mission, despite some first flight 'shakedown' hickups.

This kickstarter has already far exceeded the original funding goal and is nearing $1m in donations. If it meets that threshold as a stretch goal, it will enable further sharing via peer review of the program that could help to further the long term prospects of solar sailing as a viable method of propulsion.

Google the phrase, "light sail kickstarter' and take a look!

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Message 1694252 - Posted: 21 Jun 2015, 10:06:52 UTC - in response to Message 1694192.  

What are motor counts.
What is the mechanism that converts solar wind to propulsion thrust. How big is the sail. What is the projected thrust--does it exceed atmospheric drag at that altitude.
What is it made of. What application would a working version be used for.
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Message 1694259 - Posted: 21 Jun 2015, 10:48:38 UTC - in response to Message 1694252.  

All very good questions. More of the engineering details can be found on 'sail.planetary.org' if you are so interested to take a moment to read. As stated on their kickstarter brief, I believe the intent if the kickstarter stretch goal is achieved, is to spend more resources on sharing the technological details (warts and all) in a peer reviewed format with other scientists. Seems like a reasonable approach, no? I think this process would be a positive direction, whether or not solar sailing's viability pans out in the long run. It's good that someone (or group) is mustering resources toward understanding it better and doing the requisite research/trials, not just spouting off sci-fi wishes about warp drives, et al.
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Message 1710767 - Posted: 10 Aug 2015, 9:21:26 UTC

Can't find any info about did Solar sail approved or disapproved a thesis about solar wind power & sailing? ;)


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Message 1711382 - Posted: 11 Aug 2015, 9:55:25 UTC - in response to Message 1710767.  

Do a web search for, "planetary society light sail workshop" and you can read more about the findings from their recent test mission.
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Message 1711626 - Posted: 12 Aug 2015, 8:51:27 UTC - in response to Message 1711382.  

Do a web search for, "planetary society light sail workshop" and you can read more about the findings from their recent test mission.
Spencer

I've read most of data, like this one:
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/2015/20150715-lightsail-workshop-recap.html
no mention about thrust of solar sail!

so, as far I'm concerned...it's not a sail, just a "big sheet in Space"! ;)


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Message 1713771 - Posted: 16 Aug 2015, 3:22:47 UTC - in response to Message 1711626.  

Hi Klik,
The recent solar sail test by the Planetary Society was an engineering shakedown test only to validate sail deployment, test comms and to collect telematics data.

According to http://sail.planetary.org/

"We successfully completed a test flight in June 2015 that paved the way for a second, full-fledged solar sailing demonstration in 2016"

Not sure if you realized this earlier? If the 2015 solar sail test did not include a requirement for actual 'sailing', then what data would there be to confirm thrust? We'll have to wait until the 2016 flight to see what data they gather from that regarding thrust. Fair enough, right? You post seems to imply that the shakedown mission was a failure because the peer reviewed findings they shared don't discuss thrust.

I think you calling it just a 'big sheet in space' is a bit jaded and premature. In your view, the gemini missions must have also just been big tin cans floating in space since they did not go to the moon. I'm kidding of course, and do appreciate your interest in solar sailing! ;-)

Cheers,
Spencer
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Message 1714299 - Posted: 17 Aug 2015, 7:32:57 UTC

U r missing a point...to deploy a solar sail & not measuring a difference in speed? it's like a starting a thrusters on Gemini pod & not measuring if it works or not? OK, astronaut can give that he felt a push - but what is the difference in speed & how good is a thruster? A science begins when u have a defined a thrust of 1s would give to ur craft... ;)


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Message 1714357 - Posted: 17 Aug 2015, 10:23:45 UTC - in response to Message 1714299.  

I'd expect some of those answers to be provided after the test flight where they will attempt 'sailing' in 2016. Patience!!
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Message 1714521 - Posted: 17 Aug 2015, 16:41:44 UTC

A.C. Clarke wrote a short story about solar sailing in the form of a yacht race around the moon and back. It is titled Sunjammer and was one of the first Sci-Fi stories by him that I read after watching 2001 A Space Odyssey. Something like that probably won't happen for at least 50 years or so, but it seemed so possible back then.
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Message 1714801 - Posted: 18 Aug 2015, 17:28:22 UTC - in response to Message 1714521.  

A.C. Clarke wrote a short story about solar sailing in the form of a yacht race around the moon and back. It is titled Sunjammer and was one of the first Sci-Fi stories by him that I read after watching 2001 A Space Odyssey. Something like that probably won't happen for at least 50 years or so, but it seemed so possible back then.

all u need is one or 2 nut-jobs with enough money 2 do it! ;)


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