solar sail


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solar sail

n.
A saillike device made of lightweight reflective material, attached to a spacecraft to harness the radiation pressure of the sun's light and solar wind for propulsion. Also called light sail.

solar sail

n
(Aeronautics) a device that reflects light particles from the sun, gaining momentum in the opposite direction to propel spacecraft forwards
Translations
voile solaire
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References in periodicals archive ?
If you want to make a solar sail it's very important that the materials you use are very light,' said Vera Janssen, a PhD student involved in the GrapheneX project.
A solar sail uses photons, or energy from the sun to propel a spacecraft.
CubeSail--another 3-unit CubeSat will deploy a 4 x 4 meter solar sail to demonstrate solar sailing (launch end of 2014).
After a solar sail is deployed, each successive orbit could boost the CubeSat into an ever-widening spiral trajectory that would ultimately achieve escape velocity.
A third part of the program will see about 10 double or triple CubeSats used for In-Orbit Demonstration (IOD) of technologies including miniature sensors and the Gossamer-1 solar sail.
Just like wind pushing a ship's sails, particles of light called photons streaming from the sun bounce off the solar sail to create forward-moving thrust.
Stable stalwart Intyre Trail was given a very strong ride by Ronan Whelan to see off late challengers Aragorn Icon and Solar Sail by three-quarters of a length.
And champion Gary Carroll re-established a lead in the race for the apprentice championship when Solar Sail bolted up in the finale, his 33rd win of the season.
Launched in May, Ikaros has become the first solar sail to be fully propelled by sunlight.
It hopes to deploy a solar sail that would connect to a piece of space debris, unfurl itself and then drag the object into the atmosphere where it would burn up.