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This study designed a high-temperature superconducting (HTS) coil using yttrium barium copper oxide (YBCO)-coated conductors, in order to obtain an adequate magnetic moment for a magnetic sail spacecraft. For the optimal design of the HTS coil system for use in space, we analyzed the current transport, thermal characteristics, and applied stresses of YBCO coils, on the basis of a magnetic field and thermal analysis, and the so-called percolation depinning model. After developing an analysis method, we designed an HTS coil to obtain a larger magnetic moment on the specific constraint conditions of a spacecraft system. As a result, we showed that a thin-walled coil with a large diameter (with outside diameter 4 m, number of layers 8 and stack number 512) can achieve a magnetomotive force at 2.0 × 106 A -turns and a larger magnetic moment with allowable stresses and high thermal stability for space missions. This study leads to the possibility of creating the world's first space propulsion system using an HTS coil.