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Space

Submission + - Solar wind electric sail propulsion

Tjeerd writes: "The goal of sending probes anywhere in the Solar System in reasonable time has remained elusive. Finnish scientists have invented a new propulsion method which utilises the solar wind, promises high speed for small payloads and may be technically possible to build in the near future. The solar wind is a very tenuous but high speed (300-800 km/s) plasma stream blowing radially outward from the Sun. The solar wind powers the aurora and governs space weather. The average dynamic pressure (force per unit area) of the solar wind is 2 nanopascal, corresponding to 0.2 grams weight per square kilometre. Read the press release or visit the electric sailing site."

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