Space Sails to Zion

June 20, 2005 | 10 comments

You know that I’m enthusiastic about mankind’s move into space as a way of breaking the cultural bottlenecks and societal ruts that hold up the outside and inside growth of the church.* See here, here, and here (scroll down).

Tomorrow the Planetary Society is going to launch the a sun-sail space ship. The thing has been done on the cheap, using technological legerdemain, but if successful it would be the first sun-sail and should inspire more of its kind. It will be visible in the heavens.

*Compare with the increased openness to the gospel of people who’ve just moved.

10 Responses to Space Sails to Zion

  1. lyle stamps on June 20, 2005 at 2:16 pm

    Hm…so the market economy and specialization is just cover for God instituting a system that encourages/forces families to move frequently and thus be more willing to listen to the Gospel? Hm…


    Maybe I’ll just stick with hoping the solar sail “satellite” launched from a Russian Sub actually works…

  2. Jarom on June 20, 2005 at 3:37 pm

    Maybe you know more than the article you linked to provides… is this ship retrievable? Or is it just going to add to humanity’s pollution of Earth’s orbital space?

    Despite my cynical jab, this is exciting news; the potential here really is endless. Not to mention that my father lives for the latest thing visible in space from earth.

  3. A. Greenwood on June 20, 2005 at 4:06 pm

    I believe the ship is neither retrievable or is it going to add to Earth’s orbital space. The whole point of the sun sail is that its going sailing, out and away.

  4. Aaron Brown on June 20, 2005 at 4:48 pm

    Maybe the space ship will rendezvous with Apollo, Starbuck and the rest of the Lost 10 Tribes returning to Earth. Hopefully they’ll avoid the Cylons in the process.

    In the alternative, maybe they’ll attempt a moon landing and finally meet up with those top-hat-wearing, lunar denizens Brother Brigham used to like to go on about. You never know. :)

    Aaron B

  5. A. Greenwood on June 20, 2005 at 4:51 pm

    Maybe. I’ll let you know if I hear anything.

  6. Ivan Wolfe on June 20, 2005 at 9:11 pm

    Aaron -

    but which Apollo, Starbuck, et. al.? There are two versions of each running around in outer space right now!

  7. Ben H on June 21, 2005 at 2:05 am

    I was hoping you would blog on this, Adam! Is this exciting or what?

    The stated plan for this particular mission actually doesn’t involve sailing away to the stars just yet (see, e.g. FAQ #23). It’s a demo craft and not built for that kind of long-term service. They anticipate the mylar sails will degrade before it escapes Earth orbit. It may sail high enough to reach a stable orbit, or it may eventually just re-enter and burn up. This is the first trial in space of this propulsion method, though, so it makes sense to take it one step at a time. They don’t just want to send something up as high as possible; they want to practice maneuvering in (the fairly complex situation of) orbit. After getting some practice and some data with this mission, they’ll be in a position to (spend more money and) try something more ambitious. Anyway, I’ll be watching with keen interest!

  8. A. Greenwood on June 21, 2005 at 11:30 am

    Ben H. is correct. My idea that the craft would leave orbit was wrong. This is more or less a proof-of-concept.

  9. Bryce I on June 22, 2005 at 9:37 am
  10. A. Greenwood on June 22, 2005 at 12:52 pm

    Frustratingly, it appears that the failure was the booster rocket. Which means that the failure gave us no useful information about sun sails.


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