CAROL AND MIKE WERNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CAROL AND MIKE WERNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Artist's concept of a spacecraft deploying an electric solar wind sail (e-sail). The solar wind is a high-speed stream of electrically charged gases -- ionized hydrogen and helium -- that flow outward from a star such as the sun. The e-sail array consists of many ultrafine electrified wires spinning to keep them stretched and to present an electrified barrier to the ions, much as a canvas sail does to the wind.
Model release not required. Property release not required.