You may know the French corporation CMA CGM as a global player in sea, land, and air logistics. But last month, the company extended its reach into space.
In January, the company co-sponsored the test launch of a satellite containing a solar sail—a sail that uses only sunlight for propulsion and could thus eliminate the need to carry fuel. CMA CGM joined with the French Space Agency, known as the Centre National d’Études Spatiales, and the French aerospace firm Gama on the project, known as “Gama Alpha.”
On Jan. 3, the partners successfully launched the satellite into orbit 340 miles above Earth aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Once aloft, the compact “Cubesat” began to unfurl the 788-square-foot solar sail, which is approximately the size of a tennis court.
As for CMA GGM’s interest in the matter, the company noted that it already uses satellite information to improve its operations worldwide for navigation, monitoring real-time maritime conditions, and telecommunications. “This technology will allow the development of orbital logistics and space transportation with an extremely low energy impact,” it added.
“The technology developed by Gama is unique in that the company works on the deployment and control of ever larger surfaces in space. Our ability to deploy a sail the size of a tennis court from a satellite barely larger than a shoebox opens up new perspectives,” said Thibaud Elziere, Gama co-founder.The Gama Alpha mission aims to test the deployment and control of the sail, while a future Gama Beta mission will test sustained navigation, the partners said.
Copyright ©2023. All Rights ReservedDesign, CMS, Hosting & Web Development :: ePublishing