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Advanced Composite Solar Sail System: Demonstrating Deployable Composite Solar Sails for Future Deep Space Small SpacecraftNASA is developing new deployable structures and materials technologies for solar sail propulsion systems destined for future low-cost deep space missions. Solar sails eliminate the need for conventional rocket propellants, relying instead upon the pressure of sunlight to generate continuous thrust. They can operate indefinitely, limited only by the space environment durability of the solar sail materials and spacecraft electronic systems.At NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, and NASA's Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley, researchers and engineers are planning a mission to demonstrate the next generation of solar sail technology for small interplanetary spacecraft. As part of this development effort, the Advanced Composite Solar Sail System (ACS3) will demonstrate deployment of an approximately 800 square foot (74 square meter) composite boom (mast) solar sail system in low-Earth orbit. This will be the first use of composite booms as well as sail packing and deployment systems for a solar sail in orbit.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Ames Research Center
Document Type
Other - Brief Communication/Note
Horner, Scott D.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Wilkie, William K.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Fernandez, Juan M.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Brown, Phillip L.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Fishman, Julianna L.
(Millennium Engineering and Integration Co. Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2019
Publication Date
August 5, 2019
Subject Category
Composite Materials
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
composite materials
Small spacecraft
solar sail boom
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