36th DPS Meeting, 8-12 November 2004
Session 10 Advanced Propulsion
Special Session, Tuesday, November 9, 2004, 10:30am-12:00noon, Lewis

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[10.02] Solar Sail Propulsion: A Simple, Propellantless, Rapidly Maturing Technology

E. E. Montgomery, L. Johnson, R. M. Young, J. B. Presson (NASA MSFC), C. Adams (Gray Research, Inc.)

Solar Sails have been shown to enable a number of previously inaccessible orbits that could be highly advantageous to planetary science. A summary of mission performance to the outer solar system using conventional and advanced sail concepts will be provided. Also, performance for missions on the current NASA roadmap to science in the inner solar system will be provided.

For two years, a focused technology development project to mature solar sail propulsion to the point of demonstrating a system in a relevant environment on the ground by the end of FY06 has been underway. Several large system demonstrators have been designed and tested in thermal vacuum to validate models, show form, fit, and functionality, and evaluate environmental effects on materials have been completed. The results of those efforts will be briefly reviewed to provide a summary assessment of technology readiness for a DPS solar sail mission.

This work was funded under the In-Space Propulsion Technology Program by the NASA Office of Space Science, Solar System Exploration Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to www.inspacepropulsion.com. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: sandy.montgomery@nasa.gov

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #4
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.