Let’s us call NASA out on this “SOLAR SAIL.” We all know this is code for a Phantom Zone prison for our criminals in the near future. Am I wrong? I leave the decision in your hands. On a side note, this is one of those moments were science fiction is becoming science fact. There are three types of solar sails spaceships that come to my mind. The first one is Count Dooku‘s ship as seen in Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones. The second is the Bajoran Solar Sail that Captain Benjamin Sisko re-created in the series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The last one was by far one of my favorite and earliest designs for a solar sailer ship was the one created in the original Tron. I am always in awe of a solar sail design and how a low tech concept can still work in the future.
NASA will launch the largest solar sail in history as soon as next year
Solar sails are all about “propellantless” propulsion — using photons from the Sun (as opposed to an onboard fuel supply) to push a spacecraft through space. Building on the lessons learned from smaller solar sail missions, like NASA’s NanoSail-D and JAXA’s IKAROS, NASA is gearing up to to launch the biggest solar sail in history as early as next year. It’s called Sunjammer, and at 13,000 square feet it is positively massive.