RSS Display Parts

What's New

July 23, 2010 [updated] 

Attitude control by the reflectivity control devices (liquid crystal devices) is succeeded!

We conduct the attitude control experiment by the reflectivity control devices (liquid crystal devices) on July 13. After checking and analyzing the telemetry data, we verify that the expected control performance is achieved.

July 9, 2010 [updated] 

The acceleration by the solar radiation pressure is verified!

By the precise orbit determination after the sail deployment, we verify the photon acceleration by the solar radiation pressure. The thrust force by the solar radiation pressure is 1.12 mN (mN = 0.1 gf), and it is verified that the expected acceleration is achieved.

June 30, 2010 [updated] 

Announcement of transition to the steady operation

The solar power sail was successfully deployed, and we finish the operation check of the required mission equipments. Thus, IKAROS transition to the steady operation.

June 28, 2010 [updated] 

Additional release of the pictures taken by the DCAM1!

We additionally release the pictures taken by the DCAM1 at imaging experiment on June 19. By these pictures, we verify the reaction control devices (liquid crystal devices) are normally operated.

June 25, 2010 [updated] 

The success story of IKAROS-kun

We make the story about success of IKAROS. We are pleased that children also have an interest in the "Importance of Effort" and "Mystery of the universe" through this IKAROS story.

June 21, 2010 [updated] 

Imaging experiment by the deployable camera is succeeded!

After the imaging experiment by the separation camera, we conduct the spin down operation for several days.

June 16, 2010 [updated] 

The world’s first successful shootings of the solar power sail deployment!

The separation camera experiment was executed on June 14, and it is the first case in the world that we could shoot the solar sail deployment successfully.

June 10, 2010 [updated] 

Deploy the sail successfully!!

 The situation of the 1st stage deployment is introduced in IKAROS blog. Because of the transmition delay, it takes 46 second to see the first data (the distance from Earth is about 7.4 million km!). During that 46 second, the operation room has a tense atmosphere.

May 24, 2010 [updated] 

Celebration for IKAROS launch

We introduce to the appearance of the leader of IKAROS demonstration team and the project manager of Akatsuki just after the launch.

May 21, 2010 [updated] 

Success of IKAROS launch and deployment

The H-IIA rocket was successfully launched from the Tanegashima Space Center on May 21 at 6:58:22. The deployment of IKAROS from the rocket is confirmed by the signal from the rocket.

May 18, 2010 at 16:00 [updated] 

Reset of IKAROS launch

May 1, 2010 [updated] 

Thank you for your participation in the IKAROS message campaign!

We have 63,248 applications from JSPEC home page and 89,000 applications from the planetary society for the message campaign of IKAROS and Light Sail-1. We sincerely appreciate your cooperation. Your name plates are attached in the edge mass, and the DVD your messages stored is attached on the bottom of the IKAROS body.


What is the IKAROS?

The small solar power sail demonstrator “IKAROS” (Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation Of the Sun) is a space yacht that gathers energy for propulsion from sunlight pressure by means of a membrane (or a solar sail.) The thin film solar cells are attached to part of the solar power sail to generate large electric power. It realizes a hybrid propulsion system with a solar sail and a high efficiency ion engine activated by electric power generated by the solar cells to enable a more efficient and flexible mission.
The IKAROS mission aims at verifying space navigation by a solar sail and power generation through thin film solar cells for the first time in the world. The IKAROS was launched by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle as a secondary payload with the Venus Climate Orbiter “AKATSUKI.”

IKAROS missions

  1. Extension and deployment of a large membrane
  2. Power generation by thin film solar cells
  3. Acceleration by a solar sail
  4. Acquisition of navigation technology by a solar sail

Small Solar Power Sail Demonstrator "IKAROS"

Launch vehicle H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 17
Launch site Tanegashima Space Center
Configuration Diameter 1.6 m x Height 0.8 m
Membrane shape 14 m x 14 m square (after deployment)
Mass About 310 kg

6:58:22, 21st May, 2010 (JST) Launch Succeeded

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