Latest Solar sail Stories

2011-03-18 17:45:00

PHOENIX, March 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- On the evening of March 17, 2011, NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft fired its main engine for 15 minutes to perform a Mercury capture maneuver and became the first spacecraft in history to orbit the innermost planet to the Sun. This event marks the culmination of over six and a half years of interplanetary cruise in an ever-tightening spiral toward Mercury, where MESSENGER performed six gravity-assist planet flybys: one of Earth, two of Venus, and three...

2011-03-17 07:40:00

The problem of space junk floating around Earth, which could one day force nations to cancel interstellar missions, could be solved using ground-based lasers, claims a new report prepared by NASA-affiliated scientists. According to Stuart Gary of ABC News Australia, there are currently more than 19,000 objects at least 10cm in size orbiting our planet, while Charles Cooper of CBS News reports that NASA estimates that the total number of debris surrounding the planet tops the 500,000 mark,...

2011-02-01 14:54:40

By Dr. Tony Phillips, Science @ NASA It's a calm and peaceful night. Stars twinkle in the velvety darkness overhead as a distant plane blinks silently on the horizon. You could almost hear a pin drop. That is, until the flare. High overhead, out of the darkness, a bright light surges into view. For 5 to 10 seconds it outshines the brightest stars in the sky, mimicking a supernova, perhaps even casting faint shadows at your feet. The silence is broken by your own excited shouts. Could this...

2011-01-29 12:19:48

So you think global warming is a big problem? What could happen if a 25-million-ton chunk of rock slammed into Earth? When something similar happened 65 million years ago, the dinosaurs and other forms of life were wiped out."A collision with an object of this size traveling at an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 mile per hour would be catastrophic," according to NASA researcher and New York City College of Technology (City Tech) Associate Professor of Physics Gregory L. Matloff. His...

2011-01-25 08:12:20

NASA has formed a partnership with Spaceweather.com to engage the amateur astronomy community to submit the best images of the orbiting NanoSail-D solar sail. NanoSail-D unfurled the first ever 100-square-foot solar sail in low-Earth orbit on Jan. 20. To encourage observations of NanoSail-D, Spaceweather.com is offering prizes for the best images of this historic, pioneering spacecraft in the amounts of $500 (grand prize), $300 (first prize) and $100 (second prize). The contest is open to all...

2011-01-22 09:20:00

On Friday, Jan. 21 at 10 a.m. EST, engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., confirmed that the NanoSail-D nanosatellite deployed its 100-square-foot polymer sail in low-Earth orbit and is operating as planned. Actual deployment occurred on Jan. 20 at 10 p.m. EST and was confirmed today with beacon packets data received from NanoSail-D and additional ground-based satellite tracking assets. In addition, the NanoSail-D orbital parameter data set shows an appropriate...

2011-01-20 11:03:07

On Wednesday, Jan. 19 at 11:30 a.m. EST, engineers at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., confirmed that the NanoSail-D nanosatellite ejected from Fast Affordable Scientific and Technology Satellite, FASTSAT. The ejection event occurred spontaneously and was identified this morning when engineers at the center analyzed onboard FASTSAT telemetry. The ejection of NanoSail-D also has been confirmed by ground-based satellite tracking assets. Amateur ham operators are asked to listen...

2010-12-06 08:15:00

On Dec. 6 at 1:31 a.m. EST, NASA for the first time successfully ejected a nanosatellite from a free-flying microsatellite. NanoSail-D ejected from the Fast, Affordable, Science and Technology Satellite, FASTSAT, demonstrating the capability to deploy a small cubesat payload from an autonomous microsatellite in space. Nanosatellites or cubesats are typically launched and deployed from a mechanism called a Poly-PicoSatellite Orbital Deployer (P-POD) mounted directly on a launch vehicle. This...

2010-11-03 00:00:39

Dr. Michael A. Minovitch, mathematician, physicist, and inventor, is announcing that his Gravity Propelled Interplanetary Space Travel work is available online. Also known as gravity assist, or gravity assist trajectories, this invention launched a new era of exploration and space travel. Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) November 2, 2010 Space travel and exploration would not be the same without the diligent and innovative work of Dr. Michael A. Minovitch. In 1961, Dr. Minovitch invented gravity...

2010-10-08 08:40:00

To mark an unprecedented flurry of exploration which is about to begin, NASA announced Thursday that the coming year will be "The Year of the Solar System" (YSS). "During YSS, we'll see triple the [usual] number of launches, flybys and orbital insertions," says Jim Green, Director of Planetary Science at NASA headquarters. "There hasn't been anything quite like it in the history of the Space Age. Naturally, it's a Martian year. "These events will unfold over the next 23 months, the length of...

Word of the Day
  • One of a religious order living in a convent or in community; a monk: opposed to anchoret or hermit (one who lives in solitude).
  • A social bee.
This word comes from the Latin 'coenobium,' convent, which comes from the Greek 'koinobios,' living in community.