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NASA Launches Micro Solar Sail

December 6th, 2010 12:30 admin Leave a comment Go to comments

greyarea67 writes with news that NASA has successfully used a “microsatellite” (a term given to satellites weighing between 10kg and 100kg) to deploy a “nanosatellite” (a term given to satellites weighing between 1kg and 10kg). The deployed object, the first of six in the microsatellite’s payload, was the NanoSail-D flight unit. NanoSail-D masses 4kg and is “about the size of a loaf of bread” until it deploys its solar sail. “…when the NanoSail-D sail is deployed it will use its large sail made of thin polymer material, a material much thinner than a single human hair, to significantly decrease the time to de-orbit the small satellite without the use of propellants as most traditional satellites use. The NanoSail-D flight results will help to mature this technology so it could be used on future large spacecraft missions to aid in de-orbiting space debris created by decommissioned satellites without using valuable mission propellants.”

Source: NASA Launches Micro Solar Sail

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