- 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.
Origin of solar sail
First recorded in 1955–60
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- a device that reflects light particles from the Sun, gaining momentum in the opposite direction to propel spacecraft forwards
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
- 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
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.