250 pages, 15 illus
Solar sailing is a topic of growing popular and media interest. Solar sail propulsion will make space exploration more affordable and offer access to destinations within (and beyond) the solar system that are currently beyond our reach. This book describes solar sails, how they work and what they will be used for in the exploration of space in an easily readable manner which does not necessitate any prior knowledge of physics or solar sailing. It discusses current plans for solar sails and also describes how advanced technology, such as nanotechnology, might enhance solar-sail performance. Much has been accomplished recently to make solar sail technology very close to becoming an engineering reality and it will soon be used by the world's space agencies in the exploration of the solar system and beyond.
The book has four parts, each with multiple chapters which, in turn, contain some references and suggested further reading. Parts 1 - 3 are non-mathematical, while Part 4 contains more detailed technical information.
PART 1 SPACE ENGINES HITHERTO.- PART 2 SPACE MISSIONS BY SAIL.- PART 3 CONSTRUCTION OF SAIL SPACECRAFT.- PART 4 MATHEMATICAL NOTES ON SOLAR SAIL.- GLOSSARY.
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