Achievement of IKAROS-Japanese deep space solar sail demonstration mission

Yuichi Tsuda, Osamu Mori, Ryu Funase, Hirotaka Sawada, Takayuki Yamamoto, Takanao Saiki, Tatsuya Endo, Katsuhide Yonekura, Hirokazu Hoshino, Jun'Ichiro Kawaguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

176 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes achievements of the IKAROS project, the world's first successful interplanetary solar power sail technology demonstration mission. It was developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and was launched from Tanegashima Space Center on May 21, 2010. IKAROS successfully deployed a 20 m-span sail on June 9, 2010. Since then IKAROS has performed interplanetary solar-sailing taking advantage of an Earth-Venus leg of the interplanetary trajectory. We declared the completion of the nominal mission phase in the end of December 2010 when IKAROS successfully passed by Venus with the assist of solar sailing. This paper describes the overview of the IKAROS spacecraft system, how the world's first interplanetary solar sailer has been operated and what were achieved by the end of the nominal mission phase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-188
Number of pages6
JournalActa Astronautica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Feb
Externally publishedYes


  • Deep space exploration
  • Solar sail
  • Technology demonstration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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