Solar Sail

Solar sails are a method of spacecraft propulsion using radiation pressure exerted by sunlight on large mirrors. A number of spaceflight missions to test solar propulsion and navigation have been proposed since the 1980s. The first spacecraft to make use of the technology was IKAROS, launched in 2010. A useful analogy to solar sailing may be a sailing boat; the light exerting a force on the mirrors is akin to a sail being blown by the wind. High-energy laser beams could be used as an alternative light source to exert much greater force than would be possible using sunlight, a concept known as beam sailing. Solar sail craft offer the possibility of low-cost operations combined with long operating lifetimes. Since they have few moving parts and use no propellant, they can potentially be used numerous times for delivery of payloads. Solar sails use a phenomenon that has a proven, measured effect on astrodynamics.

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SpaceX launches 1st European solar sail on Transporter 6 mission

Newly Launched Solar Sail Poised to Unfurl in Low Earth Orbit

To Fight Climate Change, We Could Block the Sun. A Lightweight Solar Sail Could Make it Feasible

NASA Tests a Solar Sail Segment of its Enormous Solar Cruiser Mission

NASA's Artemis 1 launched a solar sail cubesat to an asteroid. It may be in trouble.

A Solar Sail Spacecraft Is About to Come Down Through Earth's Atmosphere in a Fiery Flame. LightSail 2 will end its mission by reentering Earth's atmosphere after spending 3.5 years in orbit.

NEA Scout, NASA's solar sail mission to an asteroid, just launched on Artemis 1

How do you Keep a Solar Sail Stable?

NASA's Artemis 1 mission will carry an asteroid-bound solar sail

A new kind of solar sail could let us explore difficult places to reach in the solar system using a technique known as diffractive light sailing. The NIAC is supporting it with a Phase III grant

A new Kind of Solar Sail Could let us Explore Difficult Places to Reach in the Solar System

This Week @NASA: Starliner’s Historic Test Mission, Solar Sail, Mars Helicopter’s Record Flight