RICHARD BIZLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RICHARD BIZLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Solar sail spaceship. Artwork of a solar sail spaceship passing the moon (lower right) of a gas giant planet (background). A globular star cluster is at top right. A solar sail spaceship is a theoretical vessel that has a large, sail-like, thin membrane for sailing with sunlight. Pressure accumulates through the reflection of countless photons of light from the parent star. This gradually moves the spacecraft. The acceleration would be very low but continuous, eventually allowing very high speeds to be attained. This could be one way of travelling to the outer planets of the solar system.
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