P5_6 A Race in Space

Sam J. W. Waters, Thomas J. Benham, Ben Foxcroft, Chris J.C. Dodds


By comparing solar and laser radiation sources, each driving a nano-satellite of mass 1 gram, we find that the solar sail is more advantageous up to 9.5 AU, and the laser sail is better beyond this distance. We also find that the laser sail has a constant acceleration throughout, but the solar sail acceleration decreases at a velocity of 150,000 ms-1.

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