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Questions tagged [light-sail]

questions about spacecraft propelled by the reflection of light, either from the Sun, or an artificial source.

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7 votes
1 answer
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Planetary Society's LightSail Spacecraft's corner cube reflectors; how large, and corrected for aberration?

The Planetary Society's new 3U cubesat LightSail spacecraft (mentioned in this answer) has corner-cube retroreflectors on on the 10x10 cm +z end, facing directly away from the sail, which will be ...
uhoh's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
148 views

How will The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 Spacecraft's retroreflectors be used?

For more information and links on The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 and its corner cube retroreflectors, see the question Planetary Society's LightSail Spacecraft's corner cube reflectors; how large,...
uhoh's user avatar
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9 votes
4 answers
494 views

How will Yuri Milner and Stephen Hawking's nanobots decelerate and transmit data upon arrival at Alpha Centauri?

Does anyone know what exactly is their plan, once they get there? How is that nano-thing going to slow down / take images / send data back to us? I couldn't find any information on this.
Ash's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
351 views

Solar sail and debris shielding

If a space craft is to travel at 0.6 c, how must one design a protection system such that any and all debris collisions with the sail do not render it damaged for further use? Is it possible to employ ...
Rushiil's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
241 views

Small probes to Alpha Centauri powered by light sails with a journey time of 20 years

This news item states that scientists have potentially devised a way to send a number of small probes to Alpha Centauri at quarter the speed of light. The journey would take 20 years and each small ...
Fred's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
589 views

Total delta-v expected from Lightsail-2's solar sail before end of mission, and why end it so soon?

While Bill Nye has recently gotten quite upset at us for some things (strong language for Bill Nye warning), in the video below he expresses heartfelt thanks to all members of the Planetary Society ...
uhoh's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
135 views

Maximum size for a Ion thruster solar array

In other questions I have asked about using a solar sail to double as a reflective mirror to provide light to an ion engine. What would be the maximum size or surface area of a parabolic sail where ...
Muze's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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What kind of transmitters and antennas do the Lightsail-2 ground stations use?

The cubesat Lightsail-2 has been deployed and has communicated with ground stations. See The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 Healthy as Mission Team Continues Spacecraft Checkouts, where it says: ...
uhoh's user avatar
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