Mercury is the Perfect Destination for a Solar Sail

Illustration of Mercury Scout illuminating a crater

Solar sails rely upon pressure exerted by sunlight on large surfaces. Get the sail closer to the Sun and not surprisingly efficiency increases. A proposed new mission called Mercury Scout aims to take advantage of this to explore Mercury. The mission will map the Mercurian surface down to a resolution of 1 meter and, using the highly reflective sail surface to illuminate shadowed craters, could hunt for water deposits. 

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