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Monday, June 17, 2013

World's Largest Solar Sail to Launch in November 2014

The Sunjammer project, slated to launch in 2014, will demonstrate "propellantless propulsion" offered by solar sails.
A huge solar sail designed to demonstrate the viability and value of propellant­­­-free propulsion is slated to blast into space in November 2014, mission officials say.

NASA's Sunjammer spacecraft — whose 13,000-square-foot (1,208 square meters) sail will allow it to cruise through the heavens like a boat through the ocean — is scheduled to lift off atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Florida's Cape Canaveral late next year.

Sunjammer will be a secondary payload on the Falcon 9, whose main task is launching the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) toward a gravitationally stable location called the Sun-Earth Lagrange Point 1, which lies about 900,000 miles (1.5 million kilometers) from our planet.

Source: http://www.space.com

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