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#1 2007-05-15 23:46:09

From: Alabama
Registered: 2007-02-02
Posts: 134

Re: A solar sail question

When I see solar sails depicted in books or on tv it's always a parachute with the spacecraft proper suspended between it and the star.  This seems to me like its a waste of material.  Why not place the sail between the spacecraft and the star?  Sort of like an umbrella where the spacecraft has the place where the handle joins the folding part of the umbrella, and the solar sail extends out around it like the rest of the umbrella.  This way the spacecraft itself takes up some of the solar sail body, and its a lot sturdier than a solar sail so at least that part you hopefully won't have to worry about being punctured.  I don't know about this sort of thing though so there might be some obvious reason this can't be, but I was wondering about it the other day.


#2 2007-06-23 20:25:46

From: Ohio
Registered: 2007-06-16
Posts: 104

Re: A solar sail question

sounds interesting, I have been wondering how this would work. We know that the sun emits bursts of energy known as solar winds that travel at greater speeds then are currenty achieveable by simple rockets.  In the sailing days of old when sailors were men and the sea was home the canvas sail, the best ship captians could turn a small breeze into forward momentum. The question is how? Here's one theory. Why not construct a device like the device that runs off of the suns rays, there is a similar device that I have seen on the discovery channel and also in Pitch Black.

When sunlight contacts the solar vanes the vanes begin to turn thus turning a shaft connected to a generator that creates electricity. Now if a solar sail was set-up in the proper angle, most likely at 45 degrees from the incoming solar wind the solar wind would cause the ship to go forward, most likely at an offset path until the right amount of trim was found that would catch the solar wind just right allowing the captain to steer his ship forward. To go in reverse the sail would just need to be turned in the opposite direction.

To increase speed though some sort of reaction with the solar sails and solar winds must occure. This reaction could possible see the solar sails emitting a electromagnetic field that would help in capturing more of the solar winds


#3 2007-11-09 11:44:31

From: Alabama
Registered: 2005-02-24
Posts: 682

Re: A solar sail question

It all comes down to surface area. Ares V is perfect in that its wide shorud will alow future membranes to open up--unfurling to huge dimentions.


#4 2020-06-20 19:34:54

From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 28,820

Re: A solar sail question



#5 2024-04-01 15:49:13

Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 9,175

Re: A solar sail question

Mercury could be the perfect destination for a solar sail … solar.html


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