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Playground Daily News Newspaper Archives May 27 1990, Page 4

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Playground Daily News (Newspaper) - May 27, 1990, Fort Walton Beach, FloridaOrganizers Hope for Mars space flotilla by Earl Lane Nen Vaday Washington organizers say it would be the greatest sailing expedition since Columbus. A racing Fleet of Gossamer spacecraft propelled Only by the gentle nudge of the suns rays would set off for Mars in 1992 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the italian explorer s Voy age to the new world. The celestial vessels would consist of huge Kite like sails made of reflective material no thicker than Sandwich wrap. Some proposals envision huge Sunflower shapes others Square sails the size of several foot Bau Fields. All would rely on a bombardment of photons from the Sun to accelerate them to Mars. Called the a Columbus 500 be sail cup Quot the project is Long i enthusiasm and Short on Money for now. Engineers in a half dozen nations Are working on spacecraft designs and Are hoping to raise Money from non Gove mental sources. Even sane of the i thus lasts however Are sceptical about the pro sects for sending the imaginative Craft on their Way. A a in a enthusiastic about it. But in a not too optimistic said Andreas von Flotow head of a design team at the Massachusetts Institute of technology. A i think uie biggest hurdle is to get the damned thing the Mit Craft kept purposely Bare boned would Cost about 13 million. Still the sail race has been sanctioned by the Columbus qui Centenary Jubilee commis Sion. The body established by Congress to oversee events for the Columbus anniversary. Klaus Heiss. A space technology Chi suivant. Sold the commission on the idea and Heads the Effort to mount the Competition. He said last week that he Hopes to have an agreement by the end of june for an expendable rocket to launch up to four sails. At an Altitude about 1.200 Miles the sails would unfurl and spend three months or More building to an Earth escape velocity of 67,000 Miles an hour tacking like sailboats to gain maximum push from the suns photons. The voyage to Mars could take anywhere from one to five years. Heiss declined to discuss his rocket negotiations but members of several sail teams said the booking schedules insurance costs and preparation Lime for . Rockets and the european ariane rocket present substantial hurdles. The Cost for a Nile sail launch could run $15 million to $25 and lion according to one estimate. But Heiss also has been exploring the use of a Large soviet a a Proton rocket or a chinese a Long March vehicle. Despite the financial uncertainties engineers and scientists say the solar sailing ships Are eminently feasible. The concept was first pro pc de in the 19208 and was seriously considered by Nasa in the 1970s As a Means for sending a spacecraft to rendezvous with Hailey a Comet. It is based on the principle that Light in the form of packets of Energy called photons a exerts a Sli it pressure when it is absorbed by or reflected from matter. Given a Large enough area and a Small Enos weight a solar sail jul be gradually but steadily accelerated in the vacuum of space. The trickiest Challenge engineers said is successfully in Stirling the huge sails in Earth orbit. Finalists for the a a americas flagship Are a a $15 million aluminized. Sunflower shaped Craft designed by a group of Washington area engineers led by Harold Fox of the Johns Hopkins University applied physics Laboratory. The Craft would be 560 feet in diameter and consist of 480 a a Square sail 180 feet on a Side designed by the California based world space foundation at an estimated Cost of $6.5 million. It would have a rotating triangular vane at each Comer to help guide the Craft. Some of the Komi Datil i team members were involved in the original Nasa studies on solar sailing. A an extremely lightweight sail designed by the Mit group. It would Wei about 44 pounds be about the size of a City Block and carry very Little instrument Tate pm. A a Canadian space society sail hexagonal in shape and about the size of three football Fields. 9 a memorial Day markers brownies from w Woodland Hills Calif., too p 364 Plant flags at the los Ange les National cemetery to commemorate memorial Day. Briana Wolfe Cassandra Besser Sena Dietz and Stephanie Goodman left to right joined nearly 1,200 boy scouts girl scouts cub scouts and brownies in decorating the cemetery a 77,000 eyes Short Range missile safety Magellan rehearses for Venus Pasadena Calif. A the Magellan spacecraft completed a four Day run through of the tasks it will perform when it enters Venus orbit to map that planet later this year scientists said. The spacecraft. 104 million Miles from Earth and 12 million Miles from Venus completed 100 hours of Maneu vers data gathering and communication with ground stations on Earth on Friday afternoon said Magellan project manager Anthony j. Spear. The spacecraft performed flawlessly. Spear said. Magellan is scheduled to go into orbit around Venus on aug. 10 to begin a 243-Day Mission mapping about 90 percent of Earth a sister planet. The spacecraft jul look for ancient Stream channels shorelines and other evidence the planet once had oceans. Scientists believe an unchecked greenhouse effect in which the Carbon dioxide atmosphere trapped solar heat raised the planets temperature until water disappeared. Gravity forces on Venus will be studied by plotting the path of Magellan m it swoops to within 1 Miles of the planets surface then sweeps out to a High orbit Point of 4,977 Miles. Magellan was launched from the space shuttle Atlantis on May 4, 1989. Washington a defense Secretary Dick Cheney met saturday with the directors of three National weapons laboratories but made no decision on their request to ground a Short Range Nudera missile carried by air Force planes. The meeting focused on the Short Range attack missile a or spam a. Which Are carried aboard b-52 b-1 and feb 111 bombers that Are on Alert the Laboratory directors fear that a plane will crash or catch on fire by Accident and that the flames will spread to the missiles destro3ring protective Walls and i using radioactive material into a air. The directors believe the missiles should be taken out of the air and stored. A they had a very Good discussion. Cheney was briefed first hand by the lab directora., but they reached no decision a said Tom Olson a spokesman for the Energy department. Defense department spokeswoman Jan Bodanyi said most of what was discussed at the session was classified. Also at the meeting were Energy Secretary James Watkins and Gen. Colin Powell chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. The three directors were Albert Narath pre Dent of Sandiana tonal laboratories in Albuquerque . John Nuckolls director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and Sigfried he later director of the los Alamos National Laboratory in new Mexico. Their safety concerns about the spam As emerged wednesday at a hearing held by the Senate armed services subcommittee on strategic forces. A h Xuac Spe Aker Thomas a. , a has an air Force base with combat ready b-s2s in his District telephoned Cheney following the testimony to urge a meeting with the directors. Mystery Bear delights Dayton Dayton Ohio a a a a bears with a chauffeur has been giving away Money in downtown Dayton but Autho bes done to have any idea As to the benevolent Bruins identity. A a White. 1955 to Bird pulls on main Street in front of Cour Thouse Square a Guy in. 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