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Reflective Kapton Light Sail Spacecraft Velocity Increment

Reflective Kapton Light Sail Spacecraft Velocity Increment

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A) Calculate velocity increment ∆V attainable by a spacecraft using a circular 1 km diameter reflective Kapton light sail with a mass of 12 gm/m 2  (0.012 kg/m 2 ) and carrying a cargo of 10,000 kg and operating at 1 AU from the Sun for 100 days. [Assume the total mass of the spacecraft equals the cargo mass plus the sail mass.]
B) Calculate the fuel required for a chemical rocket powered craft (I sp = 420 sec) carrying the same mass of cargo to attain the same velocity increment (∆V ). Assume that the final mass (after fuel exhaustion) is the sum of the mass of the cargo plus the mass of the fuel-less spacecraft (3000 kg).

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