Mr Gilster gets very excited about these numbers. But I got left behind, a bit. I stopped at “Jupiter in twenty-one days.” Wait. You send a probe screaming around the sun to develop a speed that’d probably have it pass Pluto in a month… and you point it out into interstellar space? Explain to me now how you’ve just put the outer solar system into commuting distance and don’t do anything with that first? Jettison the goddamn sail and coast in. Point a laser at a deceleration sail. Unload probes as you pass. Or, the hell with it, just fire a sensor-loaded penetrator at Europa. Even if it takes a year to perform the sundive manoeuvre, even if it takes three, it’d still get there before a conventional probe launch.
Chucking sun-powered smart missiles all over the solar system sounds like fun to me.”