Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UCI Physicist Announces Plans For Satellite To Be "Boosted" Into Orbit By A Microwave Beam

Date:
November 7, 2002
Source:
University Of California - Irvine
Summary:
UC Irvine physicist Gregory Benford will announce plans for the first known attempt to push a spacecraft into the Earth's orbit with energy beamed up from the ground.

Irvine, Calif., Nov. 4, 2002 - UC Irvine physicist Gregory Benford will announce plans for the first known attempt to push a spacecraft into the Earth's orbit with energy beamed up from the ground.

Related Articles


Benford will give details on the unique project at the First International Symposium on Beamed-Energy Propulsion (ISBEP) Wednesday, Nov. 6, at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

The joint UCI-Microwave Sciences Inc. mission will take place next spring, commencing with the satellite launching from a Russian submarine off the coast of St. Petersburg. Benford and his brother, James Benford, the president of Microwave Sciences, will chair two sessions on microwave-powered propulsion during the symposium. They will also answer questions about the upcoming mission at a press conference at 5:30 p.m. CST, on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

The satellite will be called the Cosmos Sail, the first solar-sail craft to orbit Earth. The Benfords developed the sail with researchers from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Made from lightweight layers of aluminized mylar, the sail will allow a craft to be propelled from low orbit to high orbit and ultimately into interplanetary space, driven by microwave energy, similar to the way wind pushes a sailboat across the sea. By using these electromagnetic waves, spacecraft would burn significantly less engine fuel - the most prohibitive expense of interplanetary voyaging.

In describing the launch project, Gregory Benford, a NASA consultant for the Mars Outpost project, said once the spacecraft is at about 800 kilometers altitude, its sail will be deployed. After the craft is flown in its first trials, a microwave beam emitted from the Jet Propulsion Lab's Goldstone 70-meter antennae in California's Mojave Desert will be used to give the spacecraft an extra push. Instruments on board the satellite will measure how much the sail accelerates due to the microwave boost.

While the push received from the Goldstone microwave beam will not be strong, it will be significant, since the spacecraft's mission is to test the feasibility of beam-boosted sails.

"The basic ability to move energy and force through space weightlessly is key to a genuinely 21st century type of spacecraft," Benford said. "This marks a significant attempt to make space travel more effective and cost-efficient."

Additional information about the Cosmos Sail mission will be posted on the ISBEP Web site: http://urnet.uah.edu/isbep/. Other material from the ISBEP program will also be posted to that Web site.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California - Irvine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California - Irvine. "UCI Physicist Announces Plans For Satellite To Be "Boosted" Into Orbit By A Microwave Beam." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 November 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/11/021106075321.htm>.
University Of California - Irvine. (2002, November 7). UCI Physicist Announces Plans For Satellite To Be "Boosted" Into Orbit By A Microwave Beam. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/11/021106075321.htm
University Of California - Irvine. "UCI Physicist Announces Plans For Satellite To Be "Boosted" Into Orbit By A Microwave Beam." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/11/021106075321.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Crew Blasts Off for Int'l Space Station

Raw: Crew Blasts Off for Int'l Space Station

AP (Nov. 23, 2014) A Russian capsule carrying three astronauts from Russia, the United States and Italy has blasted off for the International Space Station. (Nov. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) In a blog post, Google said its balloons have traveled 3 million kilometers since the start of Project Loon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crowdfunded Moon Mission Offers To Store Your Digital Memory

Crowdfunded Moon Mission Offers To Store Your Digital Memory

Newsy (Nov. 19, 2014) Lunar Mission One is offering to send your digital memory (or even your DNA) to the moon to be stored for a billion years. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Accidents Ignite Debate on US Commercial Space Travel

Accidents Ignite Debate on US Commercial Space Travel

AFP (Nov. 19, 2014) Serious accidents with two US commercial spacecraft within a week of each-other in October have re-ignited the debate over the place of private corporations in the exploration of space. Duration: 02:08 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins