Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.
JAXA finally issued the formal announcement: they successfully expanded IKAROS' square sail!
Several pictures from the sail deployment monitoring cameras showed up on the IKAROS blog overnight.
Just a brief update on IKAROS: According to their blog, JAXA has decided to proceed with the final stage of IKAROS' sail deployment.
JAXA's end-of-Sunday update on IKAROS' status gives more details about an issue they are working on the spacecraft. The spacecraft itself is in perfect health, but its dynamics are different from what was expected.
This is just a brief update to yesterday's post to add a few sentences that Lou wanted to hold until JAXA had had a chance to issue an official statement.
Planetary Society Executive Director Lou Friedman was at JAXA's Japanese Space Exploration Center to observe the deployment of IKAROS' solar sails.
Planetary Society Executive Director Lou Friedman is at JAXA's Japanese Space Exploration Center to observe the deployment of IKAROS' solar sails.
Planetary Society Executive Director Lou Friedman is now in Japan, joining the rest of the IKAROS team to watch the eagerly anticipated deployment of its solar sails.
We have photo proof that the multi-step process of the deployment of IKAROS' square solar sail is going according to plan!
JAXA has posted a short update on their solar sailcraft IKAROS.
Today JAXA posted a very brief mission status update on the IKAROS spacecraft, launched yesterday along with Akatsuki. Brief is good; all's well.
It was a picture-perfect launch for three Venus-bound spacecraft this morning: the Akatsuki Venus orbiter, the IKAROS solar sail, and a university-built minisat named UNITEC-1.
According to the Akatsuki Twitter feed, the next try for launch of Akatsuki and IKAROS will be Thursday, May 20, at 21:58:22 UTC.
The countdown for the planned launch of Akatsuki and IKAROS got to about four minutes before they decided to cancel the attempt due to weather, and I can't blame them.
IKAROS, Japan's solar sail, is nearly ready for launch, piggybacked behind the Venus orbiter Akatsuki.
I've been so focused on the dramatic return of