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A solar sail for space transportation

A French company raises two million Euros. First launch in October

French start-up Gama has announced that it has raised 2 million dollars from investors who believed in its project to develop a solar sail that will be used in future space exploration and interplanetary transport systems. The idea is to use the solar wind as a cost-saving means of space propulsion for commercial and scientific missions.

Its operation is based on the principle of photonic propulsion: in space a small continuous force applied to an aircraft can induce a constant acceleration, exploiting an almost infinite energy source such as the sun. 

The first example of the product is expected to be ready by October 2022. For that date, in fact, it is planned to launch a demonstration mission: a CubeSat 6U satellite, equipped with a first solar sail of 73.3 square meters of opening, will be put into orbit at an altitude of 550 km thanks to a Falcon 9 launch rocket, built by the US SpaceX. 

In addition, the French company has made it known that it will kick off a new space mission to Venus by 2025. The goal, say from Gama, is to position itself as one of the few players capable of expanding the exploration of the cosmos, while lowering costs. National space agencies, such as US Nasa and Japanese Jaxa, are also working on similar projects.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency