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# Considerations for Recreational Solar Sailing?

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I was investigating a few ideas on recreational solar sailing, and came up with some interesting things -

The primary equation in solar sailing is $F = {{2 R S A} \over {c}} \sin^2{\theta}$

Where

• R is the fraction of incident light
• S is the solar flux being received (Watts per meter squared)
• A is the solar sail area
• c is the speed of light
• and $\theta$ is the angle of the sail to the sunlight

Now there is also real solar wind, a haze of particle shooting up from the sun all the way out to heliopause. However, the dynamic pressure of this wind is ${{1} \over {1,000}}^{th}$ the effect of light pressure at the three locations I looked at.

I sized up two solar sail models. The first is a 20 meter diameter single-person boat, based conceptually off the real Hunter 15 personal sailboat.

During a typical "sporting event" race of three hours in duration, this model could travel 1.6 kilometers and reach a top speed of 0.31 m/s (1.1 kph). The "course" would likely be the length of an "anchorage", such as a space station.

In Venutian (0.72 AU) belts around the sun, this same race covers 3.7 kilometers and gets top speeds of 0.7 m/s (2.5 kph). And at Mercurian distances (0.5 AU), the course could be up to 15 kilometers long and craft can reach top speeds of 10 kph.

A bigger, 10-man boat with a half-kilometer diameter solar sail can be expected to make 105 km, 235 km, and 942 km courses in the same three hour event around Earth, Venus, or Mecury.

These distances are in line with present-day sporting events, such as the America's Cup. So, it would seem recreational solar sailing passes that sanity check.

Longer races (12 days), inspired by real ones like the Transpac, would be able to reach 0.1 AU, 0.2 AU, and 0.45 AU (Earth/Venus/Mercury) long endpoints.

So, to the question -

• What are some things to think about regarding recreational solar sailing?

A few things I've already thought of:

• Location: the centers for recreational solar sail communities are going to need to be places where your average person can afford and use a one-person / 20-meter model. That is probably not in Earth orbit, where theres a danger of falling into a gravity well. These natural solar sailing communities would likely lie in the forward and after Kordelewski clouds located at the L4 and L5 Lagrange points. These large, stable regions of freefall would turn a boat mechanical failure from immediately life-threatening to mostly embarassing. And you have L4 / L5s around every two-body system, so there's plenty of places for communities in permanent free fall.
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