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Submission + - Japan to Launch "Ikaros," a Solar Sail Spacecraft (inhabitat.com)

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 $16-million-dollar spacecraft will be the first solar sail-powered craft to enter deep space.
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Japan to Launch "Ikaros," a Solar Sail Spacecraft

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