Japan launches sun-powered space yacht

April 23, 2012 by No Comments

Japan launches solar-powered Venus probe. Early Friday morning, May 21, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched its H-IIA rocket carrying the Venus climate orbiter “Akatsuki.” Once in space, the probe will be powered by an innovative, kite-shaped “space yacht” known as IKAROS (Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation of the Sun), as explained by Mr. Yuichi Tsuda, Assistant Professor of the JAXA Space Exploration Center. (In Japanese) Mr. Yuichi Tsuda, Assistant Professor of the JAXA Space Exploration Center (M): Briefly speaking, it is like a yacht moving ahead in outer space. A yacht moves ahead by catching the wind over the sea. Similarly, IKAROS can proceed in outer space by receiving light from the sun. Its thickness is 7.5 microns in the thinnest part, which is about one-tenth the thickness of a hair. So, such a thin film could be extended up to 14 meters. VOICE: The sunlight-propelled sail and its probe are expected to reach the orbit of Venus by December 2010, where they will circle the planet for two years, collecting data on its climate, including information about the clouds, temperature and wind velocities. Meanwhile, as Mr. Tsuda explains, IKAROS will separate from the H-IIA rocket. Mr. Yuichi Tsuda (M): Its actual orbit will be moving between the orbits of Venus and that of the Earth. We want to keep testing how it can receive the sun light and how it controls the direction to go ahead as a solar sail in such environment after even
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www.TheBoaters.TV EP 74 First up: A Flying Yacht!? Appearing recently at the Cannes International Yacht Show, it’s the Focus 21 France. Carrying up to 15 passengers, the Focus 21 France is designed to be flown a few meters above the sea surface for approximately 65 miles! It “flies” like a helicopter hovering close to the ground, relying on what aviators refer to as “wing-in-ground effect.” According to WikiPedia, wing-in-ground effect” is “the reduction in drag experienced by an aircraft as it approaches a height approximately twice a wingspan’s length off the ground or other level surface.” For more information on the Focus 21 France, please visit www.transaquatis.com Another example of such craft is the Russian-created Ekranoplan (or Sea Skimmer), which had the advantage of being able to carry tremendous amounts of cargo at a top speed of nearly 500 mph. There is also the Sea Phantom, built by Fort Myers-based boat designer David Borman and his company Maritime Flight Dynamics, Inc. Learn more about this part speedboat, part aircraft (which has already been built and is in testing phases) at www.SeaPhantom.com Next up, it’s our BoatTEST Reports Feature of the Week Doral Boca Grande with Volvo Penta IPS. To see more of the Boca Grande from Doral, please visit BoatTEST’s website: www.BoatTEST.com Next up Holiday Gifts for the Special (and REALLY Special) Angler in Your Life Option 1: MacDaddy Fishing Lures’ line of fishing equipment is currently offering a fishing lure

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