NASA injects $2 million into solar sail technology – La Nouvelle Tribune

The US space agency is funding new technology that would allow flight through the cosmos. According to the details of this innovation, the spacecraft will be propelled entirely with solar sails that “bend” the light. According to an announcement made by NASA, it will contribute an estimated $2 million to the project. Diffractive Solar Sailing. It is indeed the structure in charge of studying ways to use the sun’s energy to direct and power vehicles in space.

“As we venture further into the cosmos than ever before, we will need innovative and advanced technologies to carry out our missions”launched in a press release the administrator of NASA, Bill Nelson. Remember that the American agency has been interested for several years in the technology of solar sails because of the advantages it offers. This is among other things the advantage of a cost-effective alternative to traditional propulsion systems. The other benefit of the technology is the ability for spacecraft to not carry heavy and expensive fuel on board.

Advantages of solar sails

Vehicles with solar sails might only need sunlight. According to a statement from Amber Dubill, a mechanical engineer at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, who leads the project, “the diffractive solar sail is a modern take on the decades-old vision of light sails”. “With our team’s combined expertise in optics, aerospace, traditional solar navigation and metamaterials, we hope to enable scientists to see the sun like never before. »he specified.

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