Fast Solar Sailing

Astrodynamics of Special Sailcraft Trajectories

  • Giovanni Vulpetti

Part of the Space Technology Library book series (SPTL, volume 30)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XXIX
  2. A Review of Rocket Spacecraft Trajectories

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Giovanni Vulpetti
      Pages 3-32
  3. Sailing in Space Environment

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 33-33
    2. Giovanni Vulpetti
      Pages 35-64
    3. Giovanni Vulpetti
      Pages 65-92
    4. Giovanni Vulpetti
      Pages 93-122
  4. Sailcraft Trajectories

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 123-123
    2. Giovanni Vulpetti
      Pages 125-164
    3. Giovanni Vulpetti
      Pages 165-254
    4. Giovanni Vulpetti
      Pages 255-319
  5. Advanced Aspects

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 321-321
    2. Giovanni Vulpetti
      Pages 323-377
    3. Giovanni Vulpetti
      Pages 379-398
  6. Giovanni Vulpetti
    Pages E1-E2
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 399-407

About this book


The range of solar sailing is very vast; it is a fully in-space means of propellantless propulsion that should allow us to accomplish various mission classes that are unviable using near or medium-term rocket propulsion, no matter if nuclear or electric. Fast and very fast solar sailings are special classes of sailcraft missions, initially developed only in the first half of the 1990s and still evolving, especially after the latest advances in nanotechnology.


This book describes how to plan, compute and optimize the trajectories of sailcraft with speeds considerably higher than the Earth’s orbital speed (30 km/s); such sailcraft would be able to explore the outer heliosphere, the near interstellar medium and the solar gravitational lens (550-800 astronomical units) in times significantly shorter than the span of an average career (~ 35 years), just to cite a few examples. The scientific interest in this type of exploration is huge.


Aerospace engineering Astrodynamics Fast Solar Sailing Manned space missions Propulsion systems Space Missions Space exploration

Authors and affiliations

  • Giovanni Vulpetti
    • 1
  1. 1.International Academy of AstronauticsParisFrance

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Engineering
  • Print ISBN 978-94-007-4776-0
  • Online ISBN 978-94-007-4777-7
  • Buy this book on publisher's site