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The Russians will launch to the Sun sailing companion

Россияне запустят к Солнцу парусный спутникThe main purpose of the satellite observation over the poles of the Sun.

The researchers promise to send into space ten years a unique device with a solar sail.

Russian scientists develop unique spacecraft with a sail, which will be able to go into orbit. This was stated by the Director of the Institute of terrestrial magnetism, ionosphere and radio wave propagation Vladimir Kuznetsov.

“The machine will be installed a real sail, which will put pressure sunlight, and this sheet will be used to control and move the machine. This is necessary in order to place the apparatus on a heliocentric orbit with high inclination,” – said Kuznetsov.

He explained that bringing the satellite on this launch is not possible because of lack of power. Therefore, during the mission, the device will be first displayed on the reference orbit around the Earth using, for example, of the rocket proton-m, then the sail will be revealed, and the satellite will be “rendered” by the solar wind at a heliocentric orbit with an inclination of 75 degrees.

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The mass of the satellite should be 100-200 kg, it will need five to ten years. The main purpose of the satellite observation over the poles of the Sun.

“We have observed the Sun or the orbit of the Earth, or from spacecraft that fly around the Earth or around the Sun, and we see no poles. And so we will be able to observe the polar region of the Sun”, – explained the Director of IZMIRAN, adding that other tasks of the satellite will measure solar wind and magnetic field in the inner regions of the heliosphere.

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A solar sail is a device that uses the pressure of sunlight or laser on the mirror surface for propulsion of the spacecraft. The pressure of sunlight is very small. However, a solar sail can operate for an almost unlimited period of time, and does not require fuel, so in some cases its use may be attractive. However, none of the spacecraft have not used a solar sail as the main engine because of the extremely low efficiency.

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