Originally posted on National Post | News:

It might not get you all the way to Cardassia Prime, but NASA hopes its newly launched solar-sail Sunjammer program will lead to a future where propellantless space craft are used for a multitude of functions beyond the Earth’s atmosphere.

“Once proven, solar sail technology could enable a host of versatile space missions, including flying an advanced space-weather warning system to more quickly and accurately alert satellite operators and utilities on Earth of geomagnetic storms caused by coronal mass ejections from the sun,” NASA said in a release.

Additionally, NASA sees the project as something that can work to help clean up the piles of floating space garbage in orbit.

[np_storybar title=”Solar Sail Demonstration: Key Mission Facts From NASA” link=””]

  • The L’Garde Technology Demonstration Mission solar sail will have seven times the area (1200m^2) of the largest sail ever flown before in space.
  • At just over 70 pounds, this solar sail demonstrator…

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