Re: minsky vs solar sails

Ross A. Finlayson (
Sat, 24 Jul 1999 00:57:53 -0400

Solar sails are good. When they are far from the sun (a towed sun? elliptical speculation...) then they could shed or fold the sails, deploy Bussard ramjet, and then scoop interstellar hydrogen.

It would be better to have some kind of "warp" drive, some time or other dimensional travel based thing to simply automatically move from point a to point b, for interstellar travel.

In terms of intra-solar travel, solar sails are great because they require no reaction mass. This means they could maneuver indefinitely around, barring space junk collision or other regular or irregular space travel dangers. Satellites with solar sails and gyrodynes could have very very long lifespans. Things should be built to last thousands of years.

Spike Jones wrote:

> >...He suggested star sailing was not only impossible, but absurd,
> since solar gravity is stronger than light pressure, assuming a
> single atom thick layer of aluminum, and furthermore, solar
> gravity stays stronger than light pressure, regardless of the
> distance from the sun, since both drop off as the square of the
> distance.

Hmm... solar sails. These kinds of things are easier said than done.

Ross Finlayson