5
$\begingroup$

If one was going to use a solar sail on a long-term space mission, it seems as though space debris would be very hard to avoid.

If a solar sail was perforated by a piece of space debris, would its usefulness be greatly reduced?

$\endgroup$
7
$\begingroup$

No. They degrade gracefully with small punctures, with the degradation approximately proportional to the area ratio of the pinholes to the total sail. So almost not at all.

| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This reinforces the fact that unlike wind, light rays won't slide on the sail and rush out of the hole. Common misconception. $\endgroup$ – Vedant Chandra Feb 9 '14 at 16:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.