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solar sail

noun
  1. Aerospace. a design concept for spacecraft propulsion consisting of a very thin, very large sheet of highly polished material that would be driven by the pressure of sunlight.
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Origin of solar sail

First recorded in 1955–60
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for solar sail

solar sail

noun
  1. a device that reflects light particles from the Sun, gaining momentum in the opposite direction to propel spacecraft forwards
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

solar sail in Science

solar sail

  1. A saillike device that is made of lightweight and highly reflective material and attached to a spacecraft to harness the radiation pressure of the solar wind and light for propulsion. Also called light sail
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.