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Lightcraft

Added Mon, 02/01/2023
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Lightcraft (Lightcraft) is a space or airship driven by a beam propulsion system, the energy source powering the ship is external.

It was developed by aerospace engineering Professor Lake Mirabeau from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1976, which developed the concept with working prototypes funded in the 1980s by the organization Strategic Defense Initiative.

Lightcraft differs from a solar sail because its acceleration depends on the expansion of the reactive mass, not on the pressure of light.

Lightcraft come in different designs, but they weigh from 28 to 56 grams and have a diameter of only a few inches (centimeters). 

In April 1997, tests conducted by Leik Myrabo in cooperation with the US Army at the White Sands missile range demonstrated the basic possibility of propelling objects in this way using a ground-based pulsed carbon dioxide laser with a power of 10 kW (1 kJ per pulse, 30 microseconds at a frequency of 10 Hz). During the test, it was possible to reach an altitude of more than a hundred feet, which is comparable to the first test flight Robert Goddard on his rocket.

In October 2000, a new flight record was set: the flight lasted 10.5 seconds and reached an altitude of 71 meters (233 feet) using the same laser, but this time with on-board plastic ablative powder and rotating the body around its axis at high speed. speed (over 10,000 rpm) to stabilize the ship with a gyroscopic effect. 

In photos and videos, it can be mistaken for a UFO because of its unusual appearance.


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