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Space Transportation Science

Japan To Launch Solar Sail Spacecraft "Ikaros" 138

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the so-that's-what-sailor-moon-does dept.
separsons writes "On May 18th, Japan's Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will launch Ikaros, a fuel-free spacecraft that relies completely on solar power. The spacecraft's 46-foot-wide sails are thinner than a human hair and lined with thin-film solar panels. After a rocket brings the craft to space, mission controllers on the ground will steer Ikaros by adjusting the sails' angles, ensuring optimal radiation is hitting the solar cells. If the mission proves successful, the $16M spacecraft will be the first solar sail-powered craft to enter deep space."
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Japan To Launch Solar Sail Spacecraft "Ikaros"

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  • Re:Icarus? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by a whoabot (706122) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @01:06PM (#32018426)

    That's possible, but I would doubt it. Greek words and names were usually transliterated by the Latins with "c" for Greek kappa (and "us" for cases with Greek second-declension masculine[omicron-sigma/"os"]). And this was done even after Etruscan had gone extinct. Maybe the tradition of transliterating as such came from the Etruscans, I don't know.

  • by BetterSense (1398915) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @01:35PM (#32018882)
    I haven't really payed much attention to Japan's space program in the past...heck I didn't really know they had a space program. But they recently landed a probe on an asteroid, and returned it to earth with asteroid rocks. When I read that it was like, "Oh. Japan has a space program, and they actually did something scientifically interesting". It seems like space programs are all about bitching about government funding and endlessly redesigning ancient rocket designs and speculating about manned missions to other planets, and meanwhile Japan went to an asteroid and brought back rocks. So when they say they are going to make this solar sail thing, I believe that they are going to make this solar sail thing.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @02:00PM (#32019244)

    That's an excellent attitude and it (unsurprisingly) mirrors my own thoughts on Japan's space program. They're doing *cool stuff* that can spark the imagination. And they're doing it for amazingly reasonable sums of money.

We will have solar energy as soon as the utility companies solve one technical problem -- how to run a sunbeam through a meter.

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