hoist up the top sheet and spanker
NASA might have canned its Sunjammer project, but that doesn't mean lightsail research is dead: a Planetary Society Kickstarter fronted by famous American “Science Guy” Bill Nye has hit its target and will go ahead. The 32 square metre (it sounds better as 344 square feet) LightSail, which overshot its US$200,000 crowdfunding …
I had no idea that a Spanker is also a type of sail.
Nor was I aware that the word Spinnaker came from Sphinx, mispronounced as Spinx, which is probably a fortuitous mispronunciation or else cries of "raise the Sphinkter" may have been heard for the last 150 years.
Modian:- A way of describing the average so that it perfectly fits the argument.
See also, lies, damned lies and statistics.
Palin:- A measure of thickness. A nano Palin is ten to the power minus nine, two short planks.
See also, Alaskan politician.
Reminds me of the Italian nun who had gone to heaven prematurely and was offered the chance to return to Earth as anyone she wanted to be, other than herself, as that wasn't possible.
She pronounced she wanted to return as "Alas Kian Pippa Liny"
"Sorry, who's that again?"
At that she pulled out a newspaper with the headline "Alaskan Pipeline. Laid by 70,000 Men in Three Years"
JAXA got a solar sail out to Venus. No mention? Does nobody in the press even Google?
Reminds me of back when they shot down USA 193 and I kept seeing in the news that anti-sat technology had never been done except – perhaps! – in secret. Not only did the USAF do it in the 80s (with an F-15) but they put out pictures and the rockets themselves are in museums for public viewing.
Photons have very, very little momentum. Even with the currently relatively poor yields from photo-electric cells I can't see any advantage of a solar sail over an ion drive that harvests hydrogen from space. Anyway, give the lack of any current, how do they expect to steer the damn thing? And braking?
Still, if people want to put their money into this, then good luck to them.
I think the sail would work better if it used the solar wind (at least in the inner solar system) but you would probably need to keep it charged. Since the bulk momentum from the solar wind will be from +ve charge protons you could keep the sail positively charged by electrically attaching it to an beta particle emitting radioisotope; perhaps Nickel-63.
Anyone want to set up a crowd funding for that idea?
The physics works. Aaaaaand, as a method of acquiring momentum, it has so little cost (the volume of the sail) that it has its place. As for current, it runs in one direction, *out*. You run with the current. To change direction, one angles against the current. Oh, and look, if you want to run into the current, there is that gravity thing.
It won't be the wally 118 of the solar system, but with consideration and time it will get you there.
To change direction, one angles against the current.
Not without a current you don't, and you don't have one in space, only the gravity of any planets.
Ion drives are potentially self-sustaining feeding off any atoms they can harvest on their travels. A couple of kilos of xenon give them a nice kick-start. Hardly noticeable in comparison to any payload when getting into space.
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