Druyan: Solar Sail Could be “Kitty Hawk” Moment


Space.com has an interesting interview with writer-producer Ann Druyan, who is the widow of Carl Sagan. She talks about the Apollo program and her hopes for the future of America’s space program.

S: Do you have any particular space endeavors in mind?

A: I would love to see personally – and have been working as hard as I can on the notion of – solar sailing. This is something that could be tremendously cost-effective, because solar sailing is a way to move through the cosmos at speeds unprecedented. You know Voyager moves at 38,000 miles an hour, which is very impressive and extremely fast to us. But of course the cosmos is so very big that that won’t get you very far. Solar sailing is a way to move ten times faster.

I’ve been working with the Planetary Society for the last decade trying to launch a solar sailing mission precisely because I believe it would be a Kitty Hawk moment for space exploration. It would thrill me to see a very ambitious program of solar sail research, because I think that that would give us an edge, and I think we want that feeling again of being on the cutting edge.

Read the full interview.