Re: SPACE: Is ISS a boondoggle?, was Re: SPACE: Why so muchEVA onISS?

From: Michael Lorrey (
Date: Wed Mar 21 2001 - 11:50:06 MST

Chuck Kuecker wrote:
> At 12:51 PM 3/21/01 +0100, you wrote:
> >On Wed, 21 Mar 2001, Chuck Kuecker wrote:
> >
> > > Boost it up a few tens of miles, and use a solar sail???
> >
> >You don't want to do one thing: operate a solar sail
> >anywere with nonzero drag, as in LEO. I don't have any
> >numbers, but I'd be really surprised if you could unfold
> >a solar sail without deorbiting *real quick* anywhere
> >below one meameter.
> Forgot that the atmosphere does not end abruptly at 100 km... :(

The experiment is not supposed to last very long. This is just a 'proof
of concept' vehicle, to verify the amount of thrust generated for a
given area and to test the sail deployment mechanism. A more permanent
larger scale solar sail will launch later.

As for anothers comment doubting an ICBM's ability to put a sat in
orbit: its a sub launched ICBM normally boosting multiple MIRVs which
weigh hundreds of pounds each. The sail test is supposed to be much much

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