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differential sail




artist's concept of a differential sail spacecraft
Artist's concept of a differential sail spacecraft. Credit: Popular Science
One of seven types of hypothetical space drives suggested by Marc Millis of the Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Program at NASA's Glenn Research Center (see Millis drives).

The differential sail would work by absorbing cosmic radiation falling on it from one direction and reflecting the incident radiation from the opposite direction. The imbalance in radiation pressure would push the sail ahead.

Compare with diode sail and induction sail.


Related category

   • ADVANCED PROPULSION CONCEPTS