Canadian Solar Sail Project

In 1992, The Christopher Columbus Quincentenary Jubilee Commission (a US Presidential Commission) challenged the world to a spacecraft race named the Columbus 500 Space Sail Cup. Participating spacecraft must sail from Earth to Mars using only solar light pressure for propulsion. This race commemorates the 500th Anniversary of Columbus' historic voyage to America. However, it is also intended to demonstrate and promote interest in solar sailing as a new propulsion technology.

The Canadian Solar Sail Project was the only Canadian entry in the race. The technical viability of the mission was demonstrated, but adequate funding was never secured to build the necessary hardware.


The Canadian Solar Sail Project is described at and there is also design infomation in general on solar sails available. The technical studies on the Project are available to CSS Members.

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