The Sunjammer project, slated to launch in 2014, will demonstrate “propellantless propulsion” offered by solar sails. CREDIT: L’Garde

NASA to Launch World’s Largest Solar Sail in 2014

by Leonard David, SPACE.com’s Space Insider Columnist
Date: 31 January 2013 Time: 06:30 AM ET

The largest solar sail ever constructed is headed for the launch pad in 2014 on a mission to demonstrate the value of “propellantless propulsion”— the act of using photons from the sun to push a craft through space.

Dubbed Sunjammer, the giant solar sail measures about 124 feet (38 meters) on a side and boasts a total surface area of nearly 13,000 square feet (1,208 square m, or one-third of an acre). The project is under the wing of NASA’s Space Technology Program, within the agency’s Office of the Chief Technologist.

NASA has contracted with a team of high-tech “solar sailors” at L’Garde Inc. of Tustin, Calif., to build Sunjammer.

Read more: NASA to Launch World's Largest Solar Sail in 2014 | Space.com.

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