From sea to … shining stars?

From sea to … shining stars?

You might know the French company CMA CGM as a world participant in sea, land, and air logistics. However final month, the corporate prolonged its attain into house. 

In January, the corporate co-sponsored the check launch of a satellite tv for pc containing a photo voltaic sail—a sail that makes use of solely daylight for propulsion and will thus remove the necessity to carry gasoline. CMA CGM joined with the French House Company, referred to as the Centre Nationwide d’Études Spatiales, and the French aerospace agency Gama on the mission, referred to as “Gama Alpha.” 

On Jan. 3, the companions efficiently launched the satellite tv for pc into orbit 340 miles above Earth aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. As soon as aloft, the compact “Cubesat” started to unfurl the 788-square-foot photo voltaic sail, which is roughly the scale of a tennis court docket. 

As for CMA GGM’s curiosity within the matter, the corporate famous that it already makes use of satellite tv for pc data to enhance its operations worldwide for navigation, monitoring real-time maritime situations, and telecommunications. “This expertise will enable the event of orbital logistics and house transportation with an especially low vitality affect,” it added. 

“The expertise developed by Gama is exclusive in that the corporate works on the deployment and management of ever bigger surfaces in house. Our means to deploy a sail the scale of a tennis court docket from a satellite tv for pc barely bigger than a shoebox opens up new views,” mentioned Thibaud Elziere, Gama co-founder. 

The Gama Alpha mission goals to check the deployment and management of the sail, whereas a future Gama Beta mission will check sustained navigation, the companions mentioned.

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