Solar sail satellite

Solar sail satellite

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Credit: NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Solar sailing. Artwork of a satellite powered by "solar sails" encountering a comet. The principle of solar sail propulsion is that the spacecraft is driven by the pressure of photons from the Sun. Each photon reflected off the array of mirrors imparts a tiny forward momentum to the craft. This causes slow but continuous acceleration, and very high speeds can be attained.

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Keywords: artwork, astronomical, astronomy, astrophysics satellite, comet, illustration, research, satellite, solar sail, spacecraft, spaceship

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