Tag Archive | Solar Sailing

Lyapunov’s Children | On The Wind From The Sun


The ship raised its sails, gossamer expanses of fabric, molecule thin, stretching outward from the tiny hull for kilometers in every direction as the masts deployed. The sun shone bright behind it in the sea of stars as its crew prepared for the maiden flight of the newly christened vessel. Countless motes of light, electrons, protons, and atomic nuclei in the void struck the vast web, once the sails, now hundreds of kilometers wide, stretched outward like the petals of a lotus. Slowly, the ship gained speed from the subtle but relentless pressure, on its journey to the outer system. The crew within finished launch protocols, then went to the view ports to see their home one last time before departure. Ever further away, the planet receded in the distance as the ship made its journey,

…As it travelled on the wind from the sun*.

*paraphrase from Carl Sagan