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#32997 - 12/18/09 05:14 AM Will a Solar Sail Fly?
Mike Kremer Offline

Megastar

Registered: 10/16/04
Posts: 1696
Loc: London UK

The Planetary Society together with NASA are hoping a metalised Mylar sail, just 1/100th thickness of a sheet
of paper, will be pushed across space by the power of light photons. Not only might it be 'pushed',
but some believe that given enough time, it will eventually accelerate to speeds of thousands of miles an hour.
Could that be a theoretical dream?

What about the micro dust particles in space? Some of them not so micro.
A few years ago NASA asked for'home volunteers' to count the number of micro-particles that buried
themselves in a block of jelly that was flown in space.
There were thousands of micro particles found...I know, I was one of NASA's searchers. Manipulating bits of jelly in the USA, using my 'puter mouse in the UK.

Being a Mirror Sail, I wouldnt think a few hundred or more punctures thru the Mylar would have any effect upon its speed.
But prehaps there could be an Electrostatic effect...with particles eventually covering one or both sides of the Mylar film?
That would certainly slow the light-Sail.

Thomas Gold, the famous scientist (who proved that oil was formed deep within out Earth by rock eating Bacteria) Stated 'that a Light Sail could not work,' ...meaning fly. Stating 'Carnots' limit to the thermodynamic rule of pressure would prevent the Sail from flying in space.

We will have wait until Nov: 2010 to find out the truth.
When, next year 'The Planetary Society' put up a large Mylar sail to float 500 miles above the earth.

There have been at least six previous attempts to deploy Solar sails by other Countries. Russia X2, Japan x2, and the U.S X2.
None of them were a success, due to rocket failures or the incomplete unfurling of the Mylar sail.

http://www.wired.com/science/space/news/2005/05/67400

http://arxiv.org/html/physics/0306050
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"You will never find a real Human being - Even in a mirror." ....Mike Kremer.



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#33046 - 12/21/09 04:19 AM Re: Will a Solar Sail Fly? [Re: Mike Kremer]
Kate Offline

Senior Member

Registered: 10/16/04
Posts: 334
Interesting read, thanks Mike. I would think the acceleration would be (relatively) powerful in and around the sun but it's going to drop off awfully quickly once you get out beyond Mars. I guess it depends on the size, but as you say particles would play havoc with it's integrity.

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#33050 - 12/21/09 03:05 PM Re: Will a Solar Sail Fly? [Re: Mike Kremer]
paul Offline
Megastar

Registered: 03/21/06
Posts: 4136
WoW !!!

these awesome advances in science that we are seeing recently show positive proof of our shere genius !

imagine traveling through the void at the futuristic velocity of !!! thousands !!! of miles per HOUR.

just imagine we could travel the 93 million miles to our own sun in a mere 193 days , awesome speeds.

or travel to jupiter in only 770 days !!!

or travel to pluto in a whopping 20 years -- astounding !

the distance to our closest star is just

93,851,136,000,000,000 miles so

just think we could reach our closest star in only

535,680,000 years!!! oh my

the above figures use 20,000 mph velocity.

maybe we should just wait a few years till the oil is gone
that way we can use something more powerfull to travel through space.

oil has stagnated space exploration




_________________________
3/4 inch of dust build up on the moon in 4.527 billion years,LOL and QM is fantasy science.

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#33055 - 12/22/09 02:30 AM Re: Will a Solar Sail Fly? [Re: paul]
Mike Kremer Offline

Megastar

Registered: 10/16/04
Posts: 1696
Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: paul
WoW !!!

these awesome advances in science that we are seeing recently show positive proof of our shere genius !
imagine traveling through the void at the futuristic velocity of !!! thousands !!! of miles per HOUR.
just imagine we could travel the 93 million miles to our own sun in a mere 193 days , awesome speeds.
or travel to jupiter in only 770 days !!!---astounding.
...........>oil has stagnated space exploration



[quote=Mike Kremer]

Hi Paul, well I can only assume that you believe that a Solar Sail could eventually reach extremely high speeds. I wish I had your confidence.
What practical use could a solar Sail have?
Like pulling a camera behind it...Or seeding Microbes out in Space, might it be used as a reflective Radio Antenna?.

I been thinking ...Why a sail? ...A sail could tumble. Why couldnt NASA use a Mylar foil Sphere?
It would'nt matter if it tumbled, would it? If could have a long Glass or Carbon fibre 'tail' attached to it, that should give it stability. Just like a balloon floating away with a childs string still attached, its 'tail' might also help bleed of any accumulated static charges.
Mylar and Saran wrap films are notorious for holding Electrostatic charges.

NASA has been unlucky with unfurling the space sails, maybe they
could practice in the Worlds Largest Vacuum Chamber.
Good picture here. 100ftDia X 120ft tall....Wow!

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_1281.html

It looks like the huge doors seal tighter, using the vacuum.
Could it be pumped down to excede the vacuum of space? (just wondering)

Has'nt there been a similar idea for a Mylar Mirror? Only this time it has to remain fixed in space so it can light up the dark side of our Earth. To get plants to grow faster... or to get us humans to work longer? Cant rem which.
Or how about NASA putting up large Crookes Variometer into space, its spin would appear as perpetual motion, as long as it was in sunshine. Could its spin be put to work? Would it really spin? Or just move away from the sun?
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"You will never find a real Human being - Even in a mirror." ....Mike Kremer.



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