Back in 1976, famed astrophysicist and science-literacy advocate Carl Sagan, helped popularize a theory for space propulsion: gigantic sails that would use the sun’s energy to ‘sail’ across the solar system – like a sailboat using the wind to move across the ocean. In 1976 it was just a concept, but now, almost 40 years later, its ready to become reality.
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The Planetary Society, a non-profit science organization founded by Sagan and currently run by Bill Nye, the Science guy, have developed a prototype Solar Sail. They have plans to launch it in 2016 and they’re calling it ‘LightSail’
The projet has been underworks for the past few years, and the organization says it ill cost an estimated $4.5 million to finish. A huge chunk of that money was already been raised, and the first test flight is scheduled for May 20th, but Nye and the team still need around $1.2Million to send ‘Lightsail’ on a real mission in 2017 – so naturally, they have turned to kick-starter to get the rest of the funding done.