Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"In science fiction one can say a great many things that are unpalatable, … because it's expressed as science fiction you can slip it past their defenses."
- Frederik Pohl

Light-Sail Ship  
  A spacecraft that used a huge sail moved by light pressure.  

As far as I know, this is the first use of the phrase, but not the concept.

Earth could have kept her, but the new worlds needed her.

She had to go.

She went by light-sail ship. And she had to cross space—space, where the danger always waits.

...Most space offers no respite, no relay, no rescue, no repair. All dangers must be anticipated; otherwise they become mortal.

From Think Blue, Count Two, by Cordwainer Smith.
Published by Galaxy Publishing in 1962
Additional resources -

The idea of a light sail was still unfamiliar when Niven and Pournelle wrote The Mote in God's Eye (1974):

What in Hannigan's Hell was a light sail?
...Blaine snapped up from his reverie and touched his screen controls again. The ship's course appeared on his screen as a pictorial diagram below tables of figures. Rod spoke with effort. "Approved." Then he went back to the impossibly large object on his view screen. Suddenly he took out his pocket computer and scribbled madly across its face. Words and numbers flowed across the surface, and he nodded.
Of course light pressure could be used for propulsion...
A reflecting mirror could use outside light as propulsion and get twice the efficiency. Naturally the mirror should be as large as possible, and as light, and ideally it should reflect all the light that fell on it.
Blaine grinned to himself. He had been nerving himself to attack a space going planet with his half-repaired battle cruiser! Naturally the computer had pictured an object that size as a globe. In reality it was probably a sheet of silvered fabric thousands of kilometers across, attached by adjustable shrouds to the mass that would be the ship proper.
In fact, with an albedo of one— Blaine sketched rapidly.
The light sail would need about eight million square kilometers of area. If circular, it would be about three thousand klicks across. . .
It was using light for thrust, so. . . Blaine called up the intruder's deceleration, matched it to the total reflected light, divided . . . so. Sail and payload together massed about 450 thousand kilograms.

Compare to the starlight sail from The Lady Who Sailed The Soul (1960) by Cordwainer Smith, the solar sail from Sail 25 (1962) by Jack Vance, which has a longer discussion of the topic, and the photonic sail from Think Blue, Count Two (1962) by Cordwainer Smith. Don't miss the solar yacht from Arthur C. Clarke's 1963 short story Sunjammer.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Think Blue, Count Two
  More Ideas and Technology by Cordwainer Smith
  Tech news articles related to Think Blue, Count Two
  Tech news articles related to works by Cordwainer Smith

Articles related to Space Tech
Starlink Satellites Leading Edge On-Orbit Debris Mitigation
Space Hero Inc. Offers Trip To ISS As Reality Show Prize
Bigrating Laser Beam-Riding Light Sail Is Self-Correcting
ISS Astronauts Test Estee Lauder 'Advanced Night Repair' Skin Serum

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Jet-Powered Flying Suits Tested By Navy
'With his motor in operation, he moves like a diver, head foremost...'

Pub Installs Electrified Fence Around Bar
'I start twelve immensely strong wires--naked, not insulated --from a big dynamo...'

What Does A Tesla Full Self-Driving Car See?
'All objects within my panoramic gaze trembled and vibrated like quick motion pictures...'

BioVYZR Is Ready, Anti-Covid19 PAPR Lovers
'Some clad in the insulated space-suits, with their transparent glassite helmets.'

Tesla Will Have Metal Gear Snake Autocoupler, Musk Confirms
'Its motion was so swift, complex, and perfect that at first I did not see it as a machine, in spite of its metallic glitter.'

Starlink Satellites Leading Edge On-Orbit Debris Mitigation
Propulsion-assisted orbital decay, brought to you by SpaceX.

Healight Ultraviolet Endotracheal Device Has Covid-19 Treatment Potential
'He applied the tip of the instrument to the interior of the wound...'

Parents Use AI To See One Last Message From Their Deceased Son
'...what's to keep me from showing face, Man?'

Satoshi Tomizu Creates Pocket Universes And Worldcraft Bubbles In Glass
'The Worldcraft bubble glittered, catching the light...'

Space Hero Inc. Offers Trip To ISS As Reality Show Prize
'This is Elmer Schmitz, presenting to you the finalists in our Aviation Quiz Program...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.