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IKAROS (Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation Of the Sun) is a Japanese satellite launched on a H-2A rocket from Tanegashima on 20 May 2010 at 21:58 UT. IKAROS is an experimental solar sail. It will be the first solar-powered sail craft employing both photon propulsion and thin film solar power generation during its interplanetary cruise. IKAROS will be sent into Venus transfer orbit with Akatsuki and after separation will spin up to 20 rpm, deploying the thin membrane solar sail within several weeks. Acceleration and navigation using the solar sail will then be demonstrated within half a year.

Alternate Names

  • 36577
  • Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation Of the Sun

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2010-05-20
Launch Vehicle: H-2A
Launch Site: Tanegashima, Japan

Funding Agency

  • Unknown (Japan)


  • Engineering

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

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