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Re: starship-design: Tugs


>>The strech is provided by the beam and sail themselves. If the beam hits the
>>sail under an angle, it will push the sail aside. Just like a parachute will
>>be blown open and not flap or wrinkle in the middle.
>>The only places that may wrinkle are the outsides.
>That would only work if the sail is anchored to something by cables.
> Otherwise its effectivly a sheet of paper blown in the wind (or a domed
>shaped peice of paper if you prefer.).

I figured the sail always had to be anchored by cables...

>>>You could fly a bunch of other sail ships around it.  They could move in to
>>>'shadow' part of the larger main sail if needed.
>>Doesn't sound good. Accelerating more than one sail is hard enough.
>One sails loss is anothyers gain.  Remember the mini sails could be only a
>few miles across.  Tiny compared to the monster sail.  Their plenty of extra
>power in the beam beyond the sails edges.  Hundreds of thousands of miles to
>cruse around in.

True, but then the small sails should be able to accelerate faster than the
mothership. This is not necessary a problem, since they likely don't have as
much payload per sail-area.

Hmmm, in theory they could stay a few light minutes behind us, and tell us
if the beam wiggles. They'll have to use FTL-communication of course ;)