Japan Space agency had the successful solar sail IKAROS. IKAROS (Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation Of the Sun) was launched on May 21, 2010 together with the Venus Climate Orbiter, AKATSUKI And IKAROS becomes the world’s first solar powered sail craft employing both photon propulsion and thin film solar power generation during its interplanetary cruise.
Future Solar Power Sail Demonstrator planned in the late 2010s will involve a large sized solar power sail with a diameter of 50 meters, and will have integrated ion-propulsion engines. The destinations of the spacecraft will be Jupiter and the Trojan asteroids. Though Solar sail missions are also being studied in the United States and in European countries, Japan will lead future solar system exploration using solar power sails with continuing this kind of mission.And, our missions will lead to lower cost in the solar cells market, whose growth is a key factor for global warming prevention. Those low-cost solar cells are also the foundation of future solar power satellite systems.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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