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Solar sail spacecraft

Solar sail spacecraft

S900/0052

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Credit

DAVID A. HARDY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID A. HARDY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Solar sailing. Artwork of three "solar sail" spacecraft. These spacecraft are powered by the pressure of sunlight on their large sail-like membranes. Each photon of light reflects from the sail, imparting a tiny forward acceleration. This leads to a gradual but continuous acceleration, and very high speeds can be attained.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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