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6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
- 6 March 2014 1:04 pm , Vol. 343 , #6175
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ScienceShot: First Solar Sail Unfurls
11 June 2010 1:51 pm
Sailing though space on the ever-so-faint pressure of photons streaming from the sun used to be science fiction. But this week it became science fact as Japan's IKAROS spacecraft successfully spread its solar sail—the first time such a sail has been deployed in space. Centrifugal forces, generated by gently spinning the spacecraft, took a few days to spread out the square polyimide sail, which is 20 meters across diagonally and a mere 0.0075 millimeters thick. Previous designs, never really tested in space because of rocket failures, relied on struts to keep the sails tight. With the sail deployed, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, which launched IKAROS on 21 May, today proclaimed "minimum success" for the mission. Complete success will depend on acceleration and navigational tests over the next several months. In the meantime, IKAROS is slowly gliding towards Venus.
See more ScienceShots.