The NASA Technology Roadmap calls for an in-space demonstration of a 2500 m2 sail to Earth escape in the 2019-2022 timeframe; the proposed I-Sail can meet this NASA goal. Examples of solar sail missions include: pole sitter, Earth-Moon Lagrange point, Earth-Sun Lagrange point, deep space science, outer planet rendezvous, and solar polar. UltraSail is potentially useful for a range of robotic NASA missions of relevance to NASA's science and exploration goals ranging from Near-Earth to Sun-Earth Lagrange point L1 to Mars to the Kuiper Belt, an interstellar probe, and multiple NEO rendezvous missions. The very high payload mass fraction potential for the UltraSail concept (~60%) coupled with highly efficient packaging and high thrust from large sail area results in economical, high-performance missions. The use of micro-satellites coupled with UltraSail techniques permits low-cost mission development before committing to much larger systems.
A number of science mission concepts have been identified that make optimum use of solar sails as the next phase in the development of solar sail propulsion as the go-to technology for high C3 missions. UltraSail has military applications for earth-observing missions at high orbit where stationary observing is useful, e.g. pole-sitting missions. Also, NOAA and NSF have strong interests in the science that can be returned using sails in non-Keplerian orbits and at Lagrange points. Mission concepts enabled by solar sails include: Solar Polar Imager, GeoSail, and Heliostorm (NOAA Geostorm). Each of these mission concepts have been envisaged assuming the successful development of the relevant technological capability, and they are not generally achievable without access to reliable solar sail propulsion and control.