Tuesday, 14 Dec, 2010 Science

EU and Finnish Meteorological Institute to Make Electric Sail for Space Exploration


The project of the European Union to create the largest and fastest device has found its developer. Recently the EU has chosen the Finnish Meteorological Institute to lead the international space program.

Finnish researchers came up with the idea to build an electric sail that makes use of solar wind as the main source of power. It is worth mentioning that the solar wind represents a non-stop plasma stream emitted by our Sun.

It would also be interesting to note that Pekka Janhunen, a researcher from the Finnish Meteorological Institute, was the one to come up with the principle of the electric solar wind sail.

Dubbed ESAIL, the 3-year project received EU funding of 1.7 million Euros. The goal of the project is to create laboratory prototypes of the main components that will be used in the electric sail.

If made, the invention will allow researchers to obtain a faster and less expensive access to our solar system. In the longer run it is also expected to help exploit asteroid resources, reports Physorg.

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