Solar Sails - Mars Society Convention

24th Annual International Mars Society Convention - 4 Days


Solar Sails are at the same stage of engineering development as electric motors were in the 1830’s. Each attribute of solar flux has been examined in isolation, such as photon, proton, plasma, and electrodynamic systems. This talk recommends designing a simple baseline system that converges multiple propulsion methods into optimized systems, as is currently done with electric motors. Many convergences can come from this solution space. Once a baseline design is created, AI genetic algorithms can “flight test” and refine the designs in simulation to adjust proportions and geometry. Once a base design is refined, a second AI evolution pass would design fleet systems that flock like birds to optimize performance. These could fly as a protective shield around Mars crewed fleets, provide space based solar power, deploy rapid reaction probes for interstellar comets, and be used in NEO asteroid mining. In the long term, fleets of solar energy management vehicles can provide orbital Carrigan event protection and Martian solar wind protection for terraforming. This talk is also a case study in how technology revolutions happen, and how to accelerate the creation and democratization of technical solutions.

The 24th Annual International Mars Society Convention is Thursday-Sunday, October 14-17, 2021. This convention presents a unique opportunity for those interested in the planet Mars to come together and discuss the science, technology, social implications, philosophy and a multitude of other aspects of Mars exploration.

You can register on the main website After you register, you can access the convention's main application Attendify at using code "TakingFlight".

More info and session listings are in the hub world, code PDK958

This meeting is interactive. Most of the time the speakers and members are appearing on a Zoom screen. You will be able to grab the mike so you can talk to the people in Zoom.

The Mars Society is the world’s largest and most influential space advocacy organization dedicated to the human exploration and settlement of the planet Mars. Established by Dr. Robert Zubrin and others in 1998, the group works to educate the public, the media and the government on the benefits of exploring Mars and creating a permanent human presence on the Red Planet.

Speaker: Kent Nebergall