Re: Recycling solar sails

From: Spike Jones (
Date: Fri Mar 23 2001 - 19:39:50 MST

> On Fri, 23 Mar 2001, Spike Jones wrote:
> > > They can also make a solar shade
> > > for the extracted fuel tanks during the trip back home to keep cooling
> > > of the hydrogen simple.
> >
> > That sounds like the most reasonable use for them.
> "Robert J. Bradbury" wrote: Not! Anything as thin as a solar sail conducts
> the heat right
> through it. Its difficult to make a good IR reflector (perhaps
> a dielectric). ...Robert

Suppose you have a solar sail that you wish to return to earth for
another load of something. You want to bring a tank of liquid
hydrogen. If you fold the sail and place it between the tank and
the sun, much of the solar heat is reflected away, reducing
the work needed to keep the hydrogen cold. The conductivity
of the sail is immaterial if it isnt actually touching the tank, which
it need not do. It could be supported by a spindly rod, a little
like a lady's parasol. spike

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