Reply to post: Oxymoron ?

LightSail 2 successfully unfurls its silvery solar sails, prepares to become a truly solar-powered satellite

mhenriday
Boffin

Oxymoron ?

As tons of photons strike the sail, they apply force (not much - about the same as a paperclip on your hand), but since there's no friction in space this will propel the spacecraft forward at ever-faster speeds.

...

Stargazers hoping to spot LightSail 2 will need a telescope and you'll have around a year to spot it. After that the spacecraft's atmospheric friction will lead to it falling back to Earth, destroying itself in the process.

Henri

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