Re: Recycling solar sails

Date: Fri Mar 23 2001 - 19:56:42 MST

In a message dated 3/23/2001 9:47:34 PM Eastern Standard Time, writes:

<< 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 >>
I am guessing that outside of one-way trips, or slow, hohnmann transfer
orbits, or the photonic variation thereof; we are going to need a laser array
of some type, somewhere, to move the solar sail about quickly on a regular
delievry/pickup circuit. Regarding a photonic, transfer orbit, there may be
solar flares or pulses that can assist moving our craft around, on a reliable
basis. I dunno.

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