Previously I'd mistakenly asked Would the Poynting–Robertson effect ever be faster than a solar sail from a 1 AU orbit to the Sun? when I'd meant to ask about the Yarkovsky effect which can be much stronger in some situations.
I'll repeat the question here with the correct words:
In this answer to Do you need 0 km/s velocity to crash into the sun? I mention solar sails for retrograde thrust and the Poynting–Robertson as two ways an object could ever-so-slowly spiral into the Sun.
But as pointed out in this excellent answer to Would the Poynting–Robertson effect ever be faster than a solar sail from a 1 AU orbit to the Sun? it would always be much slower than you could do with a solar sail.
But now let's consider a thin, rotating shell, using known materials with modest extrapolations (like they do for solar sails) and ignoring deterioration due to solar wind, radiation damage and meteorites, is there some mass regime where a configuration optimized for Yarkovsky effect would be faster than a configuration optimized for a vanilla solar sail to get from a 1 AU orbit to the Sun?
For example, if two teams were assigned the task of designing a passive Sun-spiraling craft and given the same mass constraint, would the SolarSailors team always win no matter what mass was chosen, or are there some masses where the Yarkovsky effect could win?
- Is it possible to reach the Sun without expending any fuel/reaction mass?
- What is the functional form for r(t) for a solar-sail deorbit into the Sun?
- What is the optimal angle for a solar-sail deorbit towards the Sun when radial thrust is included?
- Maximum velocity achieved by solar sail
- Could radiated heat propel space-craft in outer space?
- Why paint only one-half of Bennu?
- Did Rosetta improve on models of non-gravitational effects on comet 67P's orbit?
- What is the difference between the Yarkovsky effect and YORP effect?
- What is the largest object on which the Yarkovsky effect has been observed?
- Solar Wind and Asteroid orbital behavior