Thursday, April 24, 2008

Solar Sail Space Travel One Step Closer to Reality

Using a fan of very long, electrically charged cables (stretching many kilometres from the central spacecraft), the similarly charged solar wind particles (mainly positively-charged protons) will hit the fan of positively-charged cables (generating a repulsive electric field), giving the cables a small proton-sized "kick", exchanging their momentum into spacecraft thrust. Cable charge is maintained by a solar-powered electron gun, using two conventional solar panels as an energy source.

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