Solar and Microwave Passive Propulsion
Sail propulsion using reflected photon pressure
Microwave and optical laser and solar sails have the attractiveness of providing a virtually engineless and fueless craft; photons simply provide the momentum necessary to send the spacecraft to its proper destination.
But as with every form of space ship propulsion these, too, have their share of disadvantages: pointing accuracy of laser-driven probes, dependence on ground infrastructure for laser or maser launched and propelled ships, low intensity of solar light outside the solar system for solar sails, ultra-low payload mass (which makes them perfect for nanoprobes but very inefficient at larger scales), vulnerability of the huge sails (hundreds of square kilometers) to accumulative micrometeoroid damage, etc.
- Beamed Energy Propulsion
- Beamrider Network
- Laser Sail, Maser Sail
- Solar Moth
- Solar Surfing - Text by James Ramsey
Solar surfing, also known as sun diving or sun skipping, is a form of vec entertainment in which specially designed ships are placed in a orbit such that they will fly through the outer edges of a star and even skip across its surface. Highly dangerous sport requiring high speeds and extremely accurate trajectories. May also refer to riding solar flares and other solar eruptions.
- Solar Wind - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Stream of rapidly moving electrically charged particles - atoms and ions - that escape from the solar corona and blow outwards. Also called Stellar Wind.
Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Initially published on 31 December 2001.
Last modified 1 November 2003