March 14, 2002
Scientists hope to use solar light to point and stabilize space telescopes
Scientists at the University of Arizona hope to harness sunshine, which exerts a weak force on spacecraft, to point and stabilize future space telescopes. They visualize a shield shaped like a pyramid, with sloping surfaces covered by hinged, reflecting tiles. Normally the tiles lie flat against the surfaces. When the tiles on one side of the pyramid are raised, however, they act like the ailerons on airplane wings and can be used to guide and point the telescope.