sail-world.com -- Ikaros's two year sail through space - still doing well
Ikaros's two year sail through space - still doing well
Wed, 10 Oct 2012
Sailing was the original way to get around the world's oceans without manpower - by harnessing the power of the wind. With the advent of steam and oil, sailing was thought 'old hat' for a while, merely for leisure sailors and historians. However, modern Japanese scientists at JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) have gone back to sailing to transit through space, and the little sailing craft, called Ikaros, is doing well!
Ikaros, which stands for Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation Of the Sun is an experimental spacecraft which was launched 21 May, 2010 by a rocket. It is is the first spacecraft to unfurl a sail, which is driven by sunshine photons, and successfully demonstrate solar-sail technology in interplanetary space. It even knows how to tack, when the 'wind' is coming from the wrong direction!
Since then it has had a number of adventures:
* On December 8, 2010, IKAROS passed by Venus at about 80,800 km distance, completing the planned mission successfully, and entered its extended operation phase.
* Then, the IKAROS was scheduled - and confirmed - to have shifted itself into hibernation mode (or shutting down its onboard equipment due to low power generation) sometime before Jan. 6, 2012.
After moving into hibernation mode, the IKAROS team has been searching for the IKAROS twice a month.
* Excitingly, on 6 September, 2012, a radio wave that appeared to be emitted from the IKAROS was detected. Two days later this was confirmed that Ikaros had successfully come out of hibernation mode.
* Now the little craft has done something REALLY clever. It has jettisoned a camera to take a picture of itself, which it has just sent back to earth.
...and this is the photo, shown above, taken over two years after it started its journey. If you're young enough, you might just live long enough to go for a sail in space!
Onesails.com - Workforce
OneSails is the culmination of over 35 years of experience accumulated by our team in design and technology applied to sail-making. [More info]
Burke Marine, suppliers of international quality marine clothing and equipment, was founded by Martin Burke on the shores of Sydney Harbour in 1971. Visit our website for your nearest stockist. [More info]
Ensign Ship Brokers
Ensign Ship Brokers was established in 1980 and has spent the last 28 years expanding our marine knowledge and developing our reputation! We strive to provide the very best service! [More info]
GME Standard Communications Pty Ltd
Leaders in communications and navigation. Their goal has always been to make products whose innovation, convenience and peace of mind can help improve the lives of their customers. [More info]
Henri Lloyd was established in 1963 in Manchester, England. Mr Henri, as he became universally known, founded the company based upon hard earned principles of honesty, integrity and freedom. [More info]
Navionics is proud of its superb cartographic database comprising more than 25,000 charts and port plans; the largest privately owned database of its kind, the only one using full seamless technology [More info]
Ullman Sails Australia
The Ullman Sails Australia team provides service to customers all over Australia with four main locations in Brisbane, Perth, Sydney and the Whitsundays. [More info]
Vicsail Sydney Pty Ltd, launched into the Australian sailing fraternity in 1983 and has been sailing strong ever since. At Vicsail, “We Sail the Boats We Sell”. [More info]