“There’s just a tremendously exciting prospect called solar sailing. [It] travels on the radiation and particles that come out of the sun, the wind from the sun. Because it has a constant acceleration, it can get you around the inner part of the solar system a lot faster...than the usual sorts of rocket propulsion.”
Scientists from the Rochester Institute of Technology have recently demonstrated that micrometers-long, airplane-wing-shaped rods can be lifted by a beam of laser light. This research has the potential to upgrade solar sail technology and power microscopic machines.