A Father Son episode as Elliot Nicholas joins me to explore the journey of Ben Sisko and his son Jake. A rite of passage journey catching the Solar winds from Bajor to Cardasssia. We also get to enjoy the profession of Love between Julian and Miles as the sing the hymn Jerusalem together.
I was excited to learn in this episode that not only are solar sails a real thing but that we have been exploring how they might work for almost as long as the Bajorans.
in 1608 Jahannes Kepler observed that the talis of comets point away from the Sun and wrote to Galileo about it saying “Provide ships or sails adapted to the heavenly breezes, and there will be some who will brave even that void.”
From there the imaginations of star gazers have explored the possibilities of the kind of travel we see in this episode. Today a number of spaceflight missions have been launched to test solar propulsion and navigation since the 1980s. The first spacecraft to make use of the technology was IKAROS, launched in 2010.
Solar sails work by using the momentum of Photons traveling at the speed of light to bounce of the reflecting surface of the sails and even though the photons have no mass they provide accelerating moment because of the zero resistance vacuum of space. Theoretically it would be possible for such momentum to increasing to the speed of light if the sails were deployed for long enough.
The idea that Sailing in space with out need for fuel is and exciting concept that could make traversing the vast distances of space a real possibility
The hymn Jerusalem also features in this this episode and has some very interesting origins and implications. Originally written as a poem by William Blake for the preface of Milton’s epic, it was put to music but Sir Hubert Parry in 1916. The poem was inspired by the apocryphal story that a young Jesus was taken by Joseph of Arimathea visited England giving rise the Arthurian legend of the divine legacy of English kings and the Holy Grail.
And did those feet in ancient time,
Walk upon England’s mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On England’s pleasant pastures seen!
And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?
Bring me my Bow of burning gold:
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold:
Bring me my Chariot of fire!
I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In England’s green & pleasant Land.