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Originally posted by amantine
Yes, these vehicles do work. Light from a laser is directed at a reflective surface. The light has momentum and transfers that momentum to the reflective surface. It seems like they are already working on a commercial application of this technology.
The back side of the craft is a large, highly polished parabolic mirror that is designed to capture the laser beam projected at it from the ground. The mirror focuses the beam, rapidly heating the air to 5 TIMES the temperature of the sun, creating a blast wave out the back that pushes the vehicle upward. As the beam is rapidly pulsed, the vehicle is continuously propelled forward, on its way to orbit.
Originally posted by AD5673
If light propulsion works...why not use it?