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Retro sailing difficulties

Kevin C. Houston writes:
 > The plasma mirror avoids these difficulties.  Since the mirror is 
 > constantly being renewed at the ship's speed, the primary reflection gets 
 > more and more efficient as the ship slows down.
 > Also, this allows us to use the plasma mirror as reaction mass at the 
 > same time we're using it for retro reflection.  plasma exhaust may not be 
 > the most efficient in the universe, but it's the best I can find if you 
 > want to get near C.

I don't think you could think of this as reaction mass as much as
simply throwing out new mirrors continually so you have a
backwards-reflecting mirror that stays near the speed of the
ship.  There is also advantage to decelerating a ship that is
gradually decreasing in mass.

You could just as easily talk about hucking out new mirrors
periodically, rather than trying to make a plasma that has these
magical reflective properties.