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Space solar sail testing date revealed

18 April 2024 [20:40] - TODAY.AZ

By Alimat Aliyeva

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States has announced a space test of solar sail technology, Azernews reports, citing the official NASA website.

The website noted that it should take place on April 24. The Electron rocket of the private aerospace company Rocket Lab with the Advanced Composite Solar Sail System will go into orbit from the launch complex on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand.

According to the mission plan, the small CubeSat satellite, the size of a microwave oven, will deploy a sail at an altitude of about 965 kilometers above Earth, which is almost twice the orbit of the International Space Station.
NASA explained that such a height is necessary so that sunlight can concentrate on the canvas and set the device in motion. The force of solar pressure on the sail will be comparable to the pressure of an ordinary paper clip lying on the palm of your hand.

The test flight will last more than two months, and most of this time will be spent checking subsystems. Direct tests of the sail will take a week, during which the CubeSat satellite will perform a series of maneuvers.

NASA's advanced composite solar sailing system is designed to prove its ability to move in space, expanding access and providing low-cost missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.


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