P3_13 Solar Sails

Robert Pierce, Allen Phong, Mike McNally, Thomas Searle


The theory of a solar sail is introduced and a simple model of a 1000m2 solar sail weighing 2000kg launched from near the Earth is considered. It is found that the solar sail can reach a speed of 26km s-1 in 6.33 years but beyond that acceleration is very small, making a solar sail viable for exploring the edge of the solar system.

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