solar sail

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A spacecraft sail that uses the pressure of solar radiation for high-speed propulsion. It is the equivalent of the wind propelling a sailboat. The solar wind is especially valuable for long missions and is NASA's choice for its future Interstellar Probe.

http://www.ugcs.caltech.edu/~diedrich/solarsails/ Solar sailing for beginners. As well as news of recent solar-sail research and experiments, these pages describe how they work, the physics of solar sails, and how they can be manoeuvred. Several solar-sail designs are presented, accompanied by interesting artists' renditions.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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