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GeoSail is a mission concept to explore the Earth's magnetosphere with a low-cost solar sail. The sail is used to precess a large, elliptic Earth orbit, making it sun-synchronous, so that the apogee remains in the geomagnetic tail. Thus, every orbit of the sail throughout the life of the mission passes through this region, measuring magnetic reconnection and electron dynamics with a single small spacecraft. GeoSail is a relatively simple mission that could be used to demonstrate solar sailing. [1, 2, 3, 4]


  1. McInnes, CR and Macdonald, M and Angelopolous, V and Alexander, D. GEOSAIL: exploring the geomagnetic tail using a small solar sail. Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets 38(4):622--629, 2001. BibTeX [McInnesetal2001]
  2. MacDonald, M and McInnes, C and Alexander, D and Sandman, A. GeoSail: exploring the magnetosphere using a low cost solar sail. Proceedings of the Fifth IAA International Conference on Low-Cost Planetary Missions, 24-26 September 2003, Noordwijk, The Netherlands. Compiled by RA Harris. ESA SP-542, Noordwijk, Netherlands: ESA Publications Division, ISBN 92-9092-853-0, 2003, p. 341-349 , 2003. BibTeX [MacDonaldetal2003]
  3. Macdonald, M and McInnes, C and Alexander, D and Sandman, A. GeoSail: Exploring the magnetosphere using a low-cost solar sail. Acta Astronautica 59(8-11):757--767, 2006. BibTeX [MacDonaldetal2006]
  4. MacDonald, M and Hughes, GW and McInnes, C and Lyngvi, A and Falkner, P and Atzei, A. GeoSail: An Elegant Solar Sail Demonstration Mission. Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets 44(4):784, 2007. BibTeX [MacDonaldetal2007]
Reference library: BibTeX