Heliopause Electrostatic Rapid Transit System
Want to take a fast trip to the edge of the Solar System?
Consider a ride on a
Electrostatic Rapid Transit System (HERTS).
The concept is
being tested and it might take only 10 to 15 years to make the
trip of over 100 Astronomical Units (15 billion kilometers).
That's fast compared to the 35 years it took Voyager 1, presently
distant spacecraft, to approach the heliopause or
outer boundary of the influence of the solar wind.
HERTS would use an advanced electric solar sail that works
by extending multiple, 20 kilometer or so long, 1 millimeter thin,
positively charged wires from a rotating spacecraft.
The electrostatic force generated repels fast moving
solar wind protons to create thrust.
Compared to a reflective
solar light sail
another propellantless deep space propulsion system,
the electric solar wind sail could continue to accelerate at
greater distances from the Sun, still developing thrust as it
the outer planets
Authors & editors:
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings,
NASA Official: Jay Norris.
A service of:
& Michigan Tech. U.
Publications with keywords: space sail - spaceflight
Publications with words: space sail - spaceflight