Riding the Sun: Maiden Flight Looms for Solar Sail Satellite

Before the year’s end, a team of civilians united by a passion for space travel will launch a spacecraft into orbit to test a new space-traveling technology. The mission, which will use a solar sail to carry a spacecraft ever farther from Earth, is the first use of a propulsion technology that may pave the way for interstellar flights. “Our job is just to prove this technology,” project director Louis Friedman told “If our craft goes just 10 kilometers on the solar sail, then it’s a success.” Friedman is also executive director of the Pasadena-based Planetary Society.