Low-cost precursor of an interstellar mission

  title={Low-cost precursor of an interstellar mission},
  author={R. Heller and G. Anglada-Escud'e and Michael Hippke and Pierre Kervella Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research and Gottingen and Institut de Ciencies de l'Espai and Bellaterra and Institut d'Estudis Espacials de Catalunya and Barcelona and Sonneberg Observatory and V. Scholar and Breakthrough Listen Group and A. Department and U. Berkeley and Lesia and Observatoire de Paris},
  • R. Heller, G. Anglada-Escud'e, +13 authors Observatoire de Paris
  • Published 2020
  • Physics
  • The solar photon pressure provides a viable source of thrust for spacecraft in the solar system. Theoretically it could also enable interstellar missions, but an extremely small mass per cross section area is required to overcome the solar gravity. We identify aerographite, a synthetic carbon-based foam with a density of 0.18 kg m−3 (15,000 times more lightweight than aluminum) as a versatile material for highly efficient propulsion with sunlight. A hollow aerographite sphere with a shell… CONTINUE READING

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