by Susan Lendroth
In The Atlantic's new article, "Across the Universe," Thomas Mallon charts a course from the discovery of exoplanets through the possibility of extraterrestrial intelligence to the most feasible way to send spacecraft to such distant worlds. Mallon asks, "Is it then remotely reasonable that not a particle of the Vision for Space Exploration is devoted to sailing an earthly machine over the vast distance between here and there -- either to confirm its existence or to let it know of ours?" The answer, of course, lies in solar sailing, and Mallon's article focuses on The Planetary Society's solar sail program, from the launch of Cosmos 1 to our continuing quest to deploy a sail in space. Read his evocative account of how The Planetary Society is working to create the first flight with light.