Feb 19, 2022

Two New Studies Just Outlined The Basics of Building an Interstellar Light Sail

Posted by in categories: particle physics, space travel

For centuries, people have dreamed of being driven at speed across the vast oceans of space by winds of light.

As whimsical as the idea sounds, nudging reflective sails slowly towards the speed of light using nothing more than the punch of photons might be our only plausible shot at reaching another star inside of a single human lifetime.

It’s also far easier said than done. Particles of light might be fast, but they don’t push very hard. If you make a sail light enough to feel the inertia of radiation, then the constant barrage of photons could inadvertently damage its material.

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