solar sail

Aerospace. a design concept for spacecraft propulsion consisting of a very thin, very large sheet of highly polished material that would be driven by the pressure of sunlight.

1955–60 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
solar sail
a device that reflects light particles from the Sun, gaining momentum in the opposite direction to propel spacecraft forwards

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
solar sail  
A saillike device that is made of lightweight and highly reflective material and attached to a spacecraft to harness the radiation pressure of the solar wind and light for propulsion. Also called light sail.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
So e-sail got rid of the physical solar sail but you need solar panels.
The beam will reflect off the astronaut and thrust him toward the ship as if he
  were a solar sail.
So you can either shoot a laser beam out the back of a spacecraft or bounce one
  off a big solar sail to drive something.
The even tried to launch, well paid to launch, a solar sail test vehicle a year
  or two back.
Images for solar sail
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