Re: The Magnetic Particle Plume Solar Sail Concept ?

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Fri Dec 21 2001 - 09:36:11 MST

Amara Graps wrote:
> While I was searching for something else on NASA ADS, this abstract
> (title only) appeared:
> Title: The Magnetic Particle Plume Solar Sail Concept
> Authors: Knuth, W. H.
> I was curious about what this was about, and with no abstract,
> I google-searched a little on the title, but basically came up
> empty. I saw some solar sail technologies listed here
> tml
> but nothing that referred to "The Magnetic Particle Plume Solar Sail".
> Does anyone know what this 'concept' is? I'm curious.

Um, I think it refers to the use of magnetic fields to trap a plasma
within it. This acts like a sail, and automatically expands and
contracts with the density of the solar wind, so that it can generate
the same amount of thrust no matter how far from the sun it is. The
farther it gets, the larger its own magnetic field expands, etc. This is
obviously a very useful idea for sailing the solar wind without being
dependent upon highly fragile thin sails made of solid matter, and doing
so even out to the Oort Cloud.

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