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Re: starship-design: Sail types

In a message dated 5/10/98 6:43:46 PM, lindberg@olywa.net wrote:

>I have a question about starships using some kind of sail for
>propulsion.  All of the sail proposals i have seen rely on direct
>pressure for their drive.  Although i realize that what i'm about to ask
>wouldn't work for light, could a directed relatavistic particle beam (or
>solar wind) be used to create an "aerodynamic" form of thrust?  This has
>several advantages, at least at sea on earth, which is where i'm taking
>this from.  A modern sailboat sails fastest when the wind is on its
>beam.  It will sail much faster than a square rigged boat of similar
>hull, sail area, and waterline length running before the wind.
>Furthermore it is easier to control. Also, modern sailboats can sail up
>to 45 degrees (appx) into the wind.  If this could be translated to
>space it could help fix the "return" problem for star sail trips. 
>Anyway, all this is very nice, but i have no idea if it is even
>theoretically possible in space using charged particles instead of air.
>Nels Lindberg

Sail bosts can only do it because they use the leverage between the wind and
the keel to force them forward.  NO space keel, your out of luck.