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Setting Sail for Orbit: Physics, Technology & Mission Applications of Solar Sail Spacecraft


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Professor Colin McInnes talk on solar sailing, which is emerging as a promising new form of advanced spacecraft propulsion which can enable exciting new space science missions. Free Event. Open to public.

Date and Time

23 May 2017 - 19:30-21:00


THURSO, United Kingdom - icon_popup  (See map)


Organised by the UK - Scotland:North local network. Contact John Blacklock for more information.

About this event

Solar sailing is emerging as a promising new form of advanced spacecraft propulsion which can enable exciting new space science missions. By exploiting the momentum transported by sunlight, solar sails can perform high?energy orbit transfers without the need for propellant.

Missions such as planetary sample return, multiple asteroid rendezvous and fast missions to the outer Solar System can therefore be enabled. While the opportunities presented by solar sailing are clearly attractive, there are still significant engineering challenges ahead.


7.30pm - Lecture Commences.
9.00pm - Refreshments Served.

Reasons to attend

This futuristic presentation is free and open to the public has been arranged in conjunction with Caithness Astronomy Club and IMechE.

Continuing Professional Development

CPD logo declaring this event can contribute 2 hours towards your Continuing Professional Development

This event can contribute towards your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) as part of the IET's CPD monitoring scheme.



Additional information

Colin McInnes is James Watt Chair, Professor of Engineering Science at the University of Glasgow. His research interests include spacecraft orbital dynamics, solar sail propulsion and advanced concepts engineering. 

Registration information

Open event to public. Registration is not necessary.

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