Thursday, July 24, 2008

**UPDATED!!!** NASA's first Solar-Sail ready to fly within days!

**UPDATE** SpaceX's Falcon 1 which was to launch the NASA NanoSail-D failed shortly after launch. The failure was traced back to a failure of the first and second stage to separate properly. Launch was at 20:33 PDT August 8th and an anomaly was reported at 20:38 PDT.

<- more from Wired ->

NASA is set to launch the NanoSail-D, its first solar-sail powered spacecraft. NanoSail, whos' only source of motive power is a 10 square-meter sail made of a thin metallic polymer, is scheduled for July 29 launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 1 rocket. (fingers crossed please, falcon rocket has a dismal launch record) Envisioned as long haulers, solar sails have been the grist for science fiction for years, NanoSail's mission will be a bit more mundane. The diminutive craft will be used as a "proof of concept" platform, staying in Earth orbit to conduct it's experiments.

<- Technology Review via Gizmodo ->

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