Bill Nye-promoted satellite sails into space on sunbeams

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Bill Nye-promoted satellite sails into space on sunbeams
August 1, 2019
August 1, 2019 10:13 AM EDT
The Lightsail 2 is seen as it deploys its sail on July 23, 2019.The Planetary Society / Handout
A small crowd-funded satellite promoted by TV host and science educator Bill Nye has been propelled into a higher orbit using only the force of sunlight blowing against its sail in space, a novel propulsion developers say could “democratize” spaceflight.
The Lightsail 2 spacecraft, roughly the size of a loaf of bread, was launched into orbit in June and unfurled a tin foil-like solar sail designed to steer and push the spacecraft, using the momentum of tiny particles of light called photons emanating from the sun, into a higher orbit.
The satellite was developed by the California-based space research and education non-profit group the Planetary Society, whose chief executive is the television personality popularly known as Bill Nye the Science Guy.
The technology promises a virtually inexhaustible source of space propulsion as a substitute for finite supplies of rocket fuels that the current generation of spacecraft rely on to manoeuvre in flight.
“We are thrilled to declare mission success for Lightsail 2,” program manager Bruce Betts said Wednesday on a call convened with reporters to reveal that the spacecraft had raised its own orbit by 1 mile, sailing under the pressure of light beams from the sun.
Flight by light, or “sailing on sunbeams,” as Bill Nye said, could best be used for missions carrying cargo in space or on small satellites with enough room for deploying larger, and thus more powerful, solar sails.
Other applications include monitoring solar radiation that interferes with Earth-bound communication networks.
The solar sail technology could also reduce the need for expensive, cumbersome rocket propellants and slash the cost of navigating small satellites in space.
“We strongly feel that missions like Lightsail 2 will democratize space, enable more people, more organizations around the world to send spacecraft to exciting and remarkable destinations in the solar system that will lead us to answer that deep question: ‘Where did we all come from?’” Nye said.
The Lightsail project kicked off in the 1990s, but its first planned prototype, Cosmos 1, was destroyed during a faulty launch on a Russian rocket taking off from a submarine in 2005.
The Planetary Society got its the next prototype, Lightsail 1, into space in 2015, but technical problems kept it from climbing high enough to be steered by sunlight.
Lightsail 2 became the latest spacecraft to demonstrate space-bound solar sailing after Japan’s experimental IKAROS spacecraft in 2010.
The Lightsail project grew from an idea imagined by the society’s co-founders — executive director Louis Friedman and late astronomer and author Carl Sagan — to send a solar sail craft to rendezvous with Halley’s Comet in the 1970s.
I read a similar piece. Anybody need more proof NASA is all bullshit.

Why do all those little sunbeams not push all the planets into deep space. When you feel heat coming from a burner on a stove does it push your hand away so you couldn't touch the burner if you wanted to. What is the difference in force compared to when it is cold and when it is red hot and emitting light?
Do we get closer to the sun during an eclipse??
Last edited by MHz; Aug 2nd, 2019 at 08:32 PM..
Lightsail 2 was launched in June as part of the STP-2 launch on Falcon Heavy, after a few weeks of checking systems out it deployed its solar sail and began attempting to raise its orbit. Earlier this week the Planetary Society declared success - raising the apogee of the orbit higher, even if the orbit on average got lower due to atmospheric drag.

An oblong orbit is the proof? hahahaa Let's see them make it reverse its orbit (several times) using just the power of sunlight.

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