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Re: MIRRORS (Round Two)

>The flat horizontal  lines represent the sail and the slants are the 
>connecting cables.  A cable will probably stretch between the two sails and 
>is not shown for covienince.  By the way, if this ASCII art is not comming 
>through, I'm genuinely sorry.  Somehow fonts seem to be different from 
>person to person.

I suppose you use a mail-editor in Windows. Windows has two main kinds of
fonts: Fixed type and True type. While True type fonts look much better
their width differs per letter and even per font. Fixed type fonts have as
the name already implies a fixed width, so all characters are just as wide.
(DOS uses only fixed type fonts)
So you may already have guessed it, use fixed type fonts (like courier or
8514oem) if possible, that way everyone can see you ascii art in full glory.
One other question, is it possible to save the options of your mail-editor?

>Course corrections are a detail we are still working on.  I'm beginning to 
>think that the tugs that I've envisioned elsewhere might be replaced by the 
>ion engine of the Asimov.  It could be fired at angles although the exhaust 
>would probably be into the sail.  More thought needed.

If got it, lets use a gravitational lens to focus our beam... (just kidding)

>I noticed that for this sail to work, the diameter would be greater than 
>Jupiter's to let the beam through.  ARRGGHH!  On the other hand it doesn't 
>have to be as precisely shaped as the retro mirror.  Still not sure how to 
>correct retro-mirror's course and keep its shape.  I'm trying to figure if 
>there is a way to break it down into components that will reflect at the 
>slight angle needed to hit the new rig.

Check out this retro-mirror idea, that I proposed 3 months ago:
(hope you can see it with a TTFont)

              Beam that missed the mirror
         /      ||  \
     A /        ||    \ B        Two mirrors A and B at a perpendicular angle
     /__________________\        but at some distance from each other
 / ||           ||       || \
   ||           ||       ||
   ||           ||       ||
   ||           /\       /\
   \/          Beams from Earth
Beam to Earth

Although the mirrors are apart, they still would be connected to each other,
only the connections will not reflect much.