05 November

A Space Bagel from Samara Will Go to the Edge of the Solar System

A Space Bagel from Samara Will Go to the Edge of the Solar System

The Samara scientists are designing an inflatable bagel supposed to study the remote areas of the Solar system. It is planned that this space solar sailing vessel will be able to overtake the most high-speed space probes existing at the moment, a correspondent reports with the reference to RIA Novosti.

The "bagel" will help to find out the origin of comets, check the general relativity theory in practice and provide the future Martian colonists with electric power, told the press service of the Samara University.

A unique design like this will help to reach the mysterious Oort cloud at the edge of the Solar system. Scientists consider that is the place where all comets are born.

"Our device has the form of torus, in other words — a "bagel" whose middle part is closed by a plate", said Professor Roman Kezerashvili, a participant of the research, Director of the Centre for Theoretical Physics of the City University of New York. "The plate is a solar sail, it will open due to the fact that the inert xenon gas enters the torus at a certain moment and inflates the entire structure. The hull will be covered with a special substance that will begin to evaporate when the sailboat approaches the Sun and that will provide acceleration on the principle of a jet engine."

It is planned that the new spacecraft will be much quicker than all the existing ones. For example, the space probe Voyager-1 will spend about 300 years on a flight to the Oort cloud, while the "bagel" will overcome this distance in 20-30 years.

The space sail will be able to get jet acceleration without additional engines. According to the plan of scientists, the solar sailing vessel will help to prove the general relativity theory and other fundamental laws of physics which cannot be studied in Earth conditions.

What is more, by means of the new device, researchers will try to "warm" Mars (an average temperature of the "red" planet is minus 50 °C), reflecting sunshine even at night, in order to increase electric energy generation on a future Martian base.

Students of the Samara University participate in the development of the solar sail.

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