LightSail: Finally, a revolutionary solar powered propulsion system
In 1970, a famed scientist Carl Sagan promoted an idea of sending a probe into space that’ll be propelled completely by energy generated from sun. The idea holds a great significance considering all that fuel needed to provide escape velocity to probes. Sagan called the project ‘Light Sail’.
If it worked, then expect a revolution in the way spacecraft are powered and propelled. A huge number of businesses, research groups, and educational institutes will be able receive benefit at affordable costs.
The design of the LightSail included solar sails attached with a CubeSat. A CubeSat is a miniature and low-price satellite. It’ll help the ‘Science-Guy’ assess the viability of provided solar propulsion. That’s the name by which world knows the CEO and co-founder of The Planetary Society, a non-governmental and non-profit organization that has been quite active in the field of space research. It was founded in 1980 by Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray and Luis Friedman.
This idea is about to come true very soon as the Planetary Society, currently led by Bill Nye has generated $432,300 on crowdfunding site Kickstarter. It received much more than they had expected and reached beyond their goal of $200,000.
According to the reports, the Society has planned to send a prototype of the LightSail to space on May 20. The fundraising timeline will end on June 6 and the funds are expected to reach $1 million by then.