【太阳能光帆飞船已经做好了第二次飞行的准备】

【太阳能光帆飞船已经做好了第二次飞行的准备】这种独特的飞行器看起来有点像一只巨大的风筝,它被认为是一种利用来自太阳的能量而不是化学燃料来引导卫星环绕太空的一种方式。第一次光帆飞行虽然意义重大,但所做的仅仅是证明光子动力飞船是可行的,而LightSail 2将从根本上推进空间飞行技术。“重型猎鹰”运载火箭计划于6月24日从肯尼迪航天中心发射,如果一切按计划进行,除了携带LightSail 2,这将是“重型猎鹰”的第一次夜间发射。

Solar-powered LightSail spacecraft is ready for its second flight

When the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket launches this summer, it will carry the Planetary Society's Carl Sagan-inspired LightSail 2. You may rememberLightSail as a crowdfunded, experimental "solar sail." The unique craft looks something like a giant kite, and it was envisioned as a way to guide satellites around space using energy from the sun, rather than chemical fuel. The first LightSail took flight in 2015, and now the Planetary Society is ready to launch LightSail 2, which has worked out a few bugs and will provide an opportunity to further test solar sailing.

While significant, the first LightSail flight did little more than prove the photon-powered craft was viable. This flight will take things a step further. The team plans to fly the craft in an orbit around the Earth and to test out its maneuverability. Ultimately, the Planetary Society hopes to use the LightSail to propel Cubesat satellites through space. "This is history in the making—LightSail 2 will fundamentally advance the technology of spaceflight," said Bill Nye, CEO of The Planetary Society.

The Falcon Heavy rocket is scheduled to launch from the Kennedy Space Center on June 24th in a four-hour window that begins at 11:30pm ET. If all goes according to plan, in addition to carrying LightSail 2, this will be Falcon Heavy's first night launch.

原文:https://www.engadget.com/2019/06/10/lightsail2-planetary-society-falcon-heavy/


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