P4_7 Make a Brake for It!

Suzanne Thomas, Declan Roberts, David Starkey, James Nelms



The paper investigates the plausibility of using a solar sail to reduce the orbital radius of a satellite around Mars instead of rocket thrusters. This is done by calculating the surface area of sail needed to lower the orbital radius from 3657km to 3517km by deploying the sail for a quarter of the orbit. The resulting surface area is 2.5x10 km2, which is impractical as a replacement for current methods.

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