In 2010 the Japanese IKAROS spacecraft became the first probe to successfully propel itself through space using nothing more than light from the Sun, that’s because it had a solar sail which is just like a regular sail except that it uses light to push itself along instead of wind.
One of the consistently difficult hurdles for space exploration is cost. With dwindling governmental support the initiative has moved toward the private sector.
A new space telescope concept, named the Aragoscope after French scientist Francois Arago who first detected diffracted light waves around a disk, could allow scientists to image space objects like black hole “event horizons” and plasma swaps between stars, said Cash of CU-Boulder’s Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy.
Researchers from the University of Southampton have developed a new technique to help produce more reliable and robust next generation photonic chips.