View Full Version : BA in a news story (re: cosmos one)

2004-Nov-10, 08:17 PM
I saw this (http://www.kyw1060.com/news_story_detail.cfm?newsitemid=41768) news story about the Cosmos One spacecraft. While we've all seen far worse BA elsewhere, this does perpetuate the common misconception that a solar sail utilizes solar wind, when in fact it utilizes the momentum of the photons striking the sail. If it wasn't for the first paragraph, it might even qualify as GA.

2004-Nov-10, 11:00 PM
So it was not a misprint I saw on CNN news ticker few minutes ago -- "First spacecraft to be powered by the pressure of Sun's protons"!

At the time I was sure it was a typo.

2004-Nov-11, 02:56 PM
If they said it was the pressure of the protons, then it was wrong. It is the pressure of the photons that will drive the sail.