Solar Sail (Light Sail)

A form of propulsion for spacecraft; a sheet of lightweight material reflects light from the sun or other light source. (Read the full article)

"Solar Sails: Put a Nuclear Reactor, and a Laser on a boom from the Solar Sail. Earth to Mars in a few days."
(John 2/11/2005 4:10:29 PM )
"A very good article on the history of the idea of solar sailing. The only story I would add to the list would be Arthur C. Clarke's "Wind From the Sun." Still available in a short story collection by the same title."
( 2/11/2005 10:50:06 PM )
"In the Mars Trilogy, Kim Stanley Robinson wrote of a aluminum foil type sail or reflector. It reflected the suns' rays to Mars and melted channels through the fermas. Anyhow, your article and efforts of those involved is great! DMB"
(Dina Mae Brandt 2/12/2005 9:59:08 AM )
"Two items. 1. My uncle, Herb Lawrence, appeared on Los Angeles television news in about 1956 speaking about solar sails. I think he worked for Northrop then. Not long afterward, Boys Life featured a story about a solar regatta."
(Mike Martin 2/14/2005 11:50:04 AM )
"One way to deal with the problem of sail material weight: use a gas. http://www.ess.washington.edu/Space/M2P2/"
(Matt Z 6/28/2006 12:59:41 AM )
"in case anyone is still looking at this thread, i too saw mike martin's story in boy's life. the excitement is still fresh in my mind, though the details of the story have faded. as for john's idea, bend down, grab your bootstraps, and lift your feet off the ground. now do it again. much simpler than a nuclear reactor etc, and just as effective."
(mike foster 10/9/2007 7:41:00 PM )

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