CMA CGM supports the French startup Gama in its solar sail mission

January 06 2023 Print This Article

After two years of research and design, the satellite containing Gama's solar sail was launched on January 3, 2023 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

The solar sail is a new means of space propulsion that uses photons emitted by the Sun to move. It could theoretically accelerate to speeds never before achieved by man-made objects. Similar to maritime navigation, it is the position of the sail in relation to the Sun's rays that will determine the trajectory of the craft. As with a classic sail, it is thus possible at the same time to move away from the Sun but also to approach it, by sailing "upwind".

The Gama Alpha mission will allow Gama to test the deployment of a solar sail in low earth orbit (LEO), a decisive phase for the democratization of this new means of space propulsion.

The CMA CGM Group already uses satellite information to improve its operations worldwide for navigation, real-time maritime conditions and telecommunications. With a rapidly growing space economy and a new impetus to develop space resources, reliable and affordable space logistics will be needed to help develop commercial opportunities.