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Today this statement is widely, though not universally, bestowed the credit as the beginning of solar sailing as an engineering principle. In 1923 the German rocket pioneer Herman Julius Oberth proposed the concept of reflectors in Earth orbit (Spiegelrakete, or Mirror rocket) to illuminate northern regions of Earth and for influencing weather patterns (Oberth, 1923). It was this work which caused the works of Ciołkowski to be revised and published more widely. In 1929 Oberth extended his earlier concept for several applications of orbit transfer, manoeuvring and attitude control (Spiegelführung, or Mirror guidance) using mirrors in Earth orbit (Oberth, 1929).

The six legs of the Stewart platform are driven by six electro-hydraulic servo control system. The response speed and rigidity of the motion simulator are all high. 02 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Time, t/s Fig. 25. Displacement curves Force, N 4000 2000 b 0 a -2000 -4000 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Time, t/s Fig. 26. Force curves The reference frame eb ( O b X b Yb Zb ) is set on the ground. e0( O0X0Y0Z0 ) is set on the fixed rack, and ep( OpXpYpZp ) is set on the moving plate of the Stewart platform. Their directions are shown in Figure 27.

Subsequent to the discussion of solar sailing by Garwin, more detailed studies of the orbits of solar sails were undertaken during the late 1950s and early 1960s (Birnbaum, 1968; Cotter, 1959; Fimple; 1962; Gordon, 1961; London; 1960; Norem, 1969; Sands, 1961; Tsu, 1959). For a fixed sail orientation several authors have shown that solar sail heliocentric orbits are of the form of logarithmic spirals (Bacon, 1959; London, 1960). Early comparisons of solar sailing with chemical and ion propulsion systems showed that solar sails could match or out perform these systems for a range of mission applications, though of course the level of assumed technology status is crucial in such comparisons (MacNeal, 1972).

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