Solar Sailing

Technology, Dynamics and Mission Applications

Colin R. McInnes

Solar Sailing Solar Sailing ... the propulsion for tomorrow’s low- cost, high energy space missions.

In the 1920s, Soviet pioneers of astronautics envisaged vast sails to harness the pressure of sunlight to "propel spacecraft to cosmic velocities". Light pressure is extremely weak, so the solar sails would have to be vast structures of extraordinarily low mass and near-perfect reflectors. Finally, over seventy years on, advances in materials technology and payload miniaturisation mean that more modest sized solar sails are now being developed as a unique means of spacecraft propulsion.

Colin Mcinnes presents the state-of-the-art in this book - Solar Sailing is at once an introductory text and a comprehensive technical reference on the subject. He assesses the benefits and limitations of solar sailing and comes to the inescapable conclusion that it offers a diverse range of low-cost mission opportunities, many of which are impossible for any other type of conventional spacecraft.

Introducing new ideas for solar sail orbits and mission applications, he puts particular emphasis on solar sail orbital dynamics and includes a rigorous analysis of solar radiation pressure. The engineering design of solar sails is discussed in depth, along with practical mission applications.

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Extent: xxix + 296 pages: 160 line diagrams and photographs
Binding: hardback
Publication Date: First published 1999, reissued February 2004
ISBN: 978-3-540-21062-7



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