The unfurling of a Japanese solar sail, the first demonstration of a new propulsion technology, went exactly according to plan. According to JAXA’s blog posts and photos from the event, the IKAROS spacecraft’s sail appears to be in place. It’s a big step in its attempt to travel driven only by sunlight. “This is the first sail ever deployed in , and if they succeed in using it for solar-sail flight — it’ll still be a few weeks before we know that — it’ll be a milestone,” said Louis Friedman , executive director of the Planetary Society, an organization dedicated to promoting exploration, which is readying its own solar-sailing mission

aa6c78308dCAM H4.jpg 312x250 Japanese Spacecraft Deploys First Ever Solar Sail

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Japanese Spacecraft Deploys First-Ever Solar Sail