You have one day to go into space

I just realized today is the very last day to send your name into space (with an accompanying message if you like) aboard a genuine solar sailing ship. IKAROS (the Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation Of the Sun – OK the acronym’s a little contrived) will be launched by JAXA, the Japanese Space Agency, later in the year, together with the Venus Climate Orbiter.

Readers of Johnny Mackintosh: Star Blaze will know that brother and sister pairing, Erin and Zeta, fly a solar sailing ship called the Falling Star. Within our solar system, the Sun’s solar wind wouldn’t be strong enough on it’s own to propel a ship, so we’ll need lasers to force it along. However, within Erin and Zeta’s home system of Alnitak there’s an unusually strong solar wind, which is probably why they developed such a vessel.

I’ve sent a message into space, as have Johnny and Clara. They’ll be launched on a DVD carried by the spacecraft – why don’t you join us?

~ by keithmansfield on March 22, 2010.

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