Rockets move spacecraft around in space from one destination to another. Solar sails also move spacecraft around in space from one destination to another. That is just about the only similarity between these two methods of spacecraft propulsion—commonality of function. Once you get to the next level and begin to describe how they work, their processes and support systems, and the mission-level requirements they each possess, the similarity ends—with a vengeance. In this chapter, characteristics peculiar to solar sails are in italics.
KeywordsPropulsion System Rocket Engine Solar Sail Rocket Propulsion Propellant Tank
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