'World's smallest wrench' could help build solar sails

Taking advantage of laser light's ability to gently push and pull microscopic particles, researchers have created what they're calling the world's smallest wrench.

Physicist plans asteroid deflection system

Lasers could be used to deflect asteroids on potential collision courses with Earth, according to a new study.

A month late, solar sail unfurls

To the delight of NASA engineers, the NanoSail-D nanosatellite has unfurled its 100-square-foot polymer sail in low-Earth orbit and is operating as planned after a month of inactivity.

Solar sail flotilla could intercept Apophis asteroid

The Apophis asteroid (99942) is expected to pass uncomfortably close to Earth in 2036.

Fastest-ever man-made craft gets EU go-ahead

The EU has agreed funding for a project to create the largest and fastest man-made craft in history.

Miniature satellite ejected in space

Yesterday, NASA for the first time successfully ejected a nanosatellite from a free-flying microsatellite, marking a big step forward for efforts to clear space junk using solar sails.