Press Release

Media Invited to See Solar Sail – Developing Technology to Propel Spacecraft of the Future – at NASA Glenn Research Center April 27

By SpaceRef Editor
April 27, 2005
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The In-Space Propulsion Technology Project at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., will host a Media Opportunity to showcase testing of a 20-meter solar sail system design. Solar sails use sunlight to propel a spacecraft through space. This continuous sunlight, reflecting off the giant, reflective sails, provides sufficient thrust to perform such maneuvers as hovering at a fixed point in space and rotating a craft’s position in orbit.

The 20-meter tests are a critical milestone in the development of the unique propulsion technology that could lead to more ambitious inner Solar System robotic exploration. ATK Space Systems of Goleta, Calif., is conducting a series of tests in the Space Power Facility — the world’s largest space environment simulation chamber — at NASA Glenn Research Center’s Plum Brook facility in Sandusky, Ohio. Media are invited to view the solar sail hardware and interview managers of the project.


On hand for interviews will be Les Johnson, manager of the In-Space Propulsion Technology Office at NASA’s Marshall Center; Edward E. Montgomery, technology manager of Solar Sail Propulsion at Marshall; and Jerry Carek, manager of the Space Power Facility at Plum Brook.


Wednesday, April 27

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. EDT


The Space Power Facility at NASA Glenn Research Center’s Plum Brook Station

To attend:

News media interested in covering the event should contact Glenn Research Center’s Community and Media Relations Office at (216) 433-2037 no later than Monday, April 25, for security clearance and directions to Plum Brook’s main gate. Media must report to the gate by 10:45 a.m. EDT and will be escorted to the Space Power Facility. Vehicles are subject to security search at the gate.

For supporting materials for this news release – such as photographs, fact sheets, video and audio files and more – please visit the NASA Marshall Center Newsroom Web site at

SpaceRef staff editor.