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Blog Archive

 

Signed, sealed but not delivered: LightSail 2 awaits ship date

Posted by Jason Davis on 2017/03/20 06:00 CDT | 1 comments

Following a pre-ship review at Planetary Society headquarters, LightSail 2 is ready to be integrated with its Prox-1 partner spacecraft. The final shipping schedule, however, has yet to be determined.

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Solar sailing in Japan: 10 questions for LightSail engineer Barbara Plante

Posted by Jason Davis on 2017/02/13 06:01 CST | 1 comments

Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye and LightSail systems engineer Barbara Plante recently traveled to Japan for a solar sailing symposium. Our Q&A with Plante discusses everything from CubeSat attitude control systems to robotic giraffes in Tokyo.

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See LightSail at the London Science Museum

Posted by Erin Greeson on 2017/02/07 06:00 CST

The London Science Museum, one of the world’s leading science centers, has welcomed our citizen-funded spacecraft into its halls.

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Want to build on our LightSail work? Here are some resources to get started

Posted by Jason Davis on 2017/01/13 10:30 CST | 4 comments

The Planetary Society is launching a new webpage showcasing LightSail academic papers, schematics, parts and imagery.

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Ground finale? Deployment test moves LightSail 2 closer to handoff

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/12/06 08:34 CST | 2 comments

LightSail 2 successfully demonstrated all of its critical functions during what may have been the CubeSat's final end-to-end systems test at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

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LightSail 2 update roundup: Testing, delivery and a new animation in the works

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/10/07 06:01 CDT | 4 comments

LightSail 2 and Prox-1 are expected to meet for integration by the end of the year. Here's an update roundup, including a sneak peek of new animations and the abstract from a recently accepted paper on the spacecraft's attitude control system.

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Back to school: LightSail 2 and Prox-1 provide unique experience for university students

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/08/08 06:00 CDT

From Cal Poly to Georgia Tech, university students working on SmallSat projects gain critical real-world spaceflight experience, preparing them for promising careers in the space industry.

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Videos and updates: LightSail 2 shows off magnetic personality

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/07/13 06:33 CDT | 3 comments

It's been a few weeks since LightSail 2 passed its day-in-the-life test at Cal Poly. Here's a roundup of updates that were made in response to the test results, and a look at the project's next steps.

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LightSail 2 will transmit Morse code from space, and you can make the sound your ringtone

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/06/10 06:30 CDT | 2 comments

The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 (.-.. / ... / ..---) spacecraft will identify itself from orbit using Morse code, and you can make the sound your ringtone.

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Mostly smooth sailing in San Luis Obispo: LightSail 2 completes day-in-the-life test

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/05/24 02:41 CDT | 7 comments

The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 spacecraft breezed through a major systems test today, demonstrating the CubeSat can successfully deploy its antenna and solar panels, communicate with the ground, and unfurl its 32-square-meter solar sails in space.

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On LightSail 1 launch anniversary, team prepares successor craft for day-in-the-life test

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/05/20 06:32 CDT | 1 comments

One year ago today, LightSail 1 rode an Atlas V rocket into space. Now, the program stands on the brink of another major milestone, as engineers prepare for a full systems test of LightSail 2, a successor CubeSat that will attempt the first controlled solar sail flight in low-Earth orbit.

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Planetary Society solar sails paved way for Alpha Centauri starshot

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/04/22 06:01 CDT | 4 comments

A new initiative to send a fleet of tiny spacecraft to Alpha Centauri is connected to The Planetary Society through its founders and efforts to advance solar sailing technology.

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LightSail 2 engineers continue to test for success

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/04/18 06:00 CDT | 3 comments

It's been a busy two months of system testing for The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 spacecraft. More trials are on the horizon, including a trip to a special magnetic cage at Utah State University's Space Dynamics Laboratory.

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Selfies, messages and names delivered for LightSail 2 flight

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/03/29 06:34 CDT

A miniature DVD containing images of space fans and names of Planetary Society members and supporters is ready to fly in space.

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Rulers in space! LightSail 2 equipped with boom fiducials

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/03/14 06:01 CDT | 2 comments

How will we tell if LightSail 2's booms are fully deployed? With fiducials—visual reference guides that feature our signature Planetary Society logo.

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Meet LightSail 2, The Planetary Society's new solar sailing CubeSat

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/02/29 06:35 CST | 1 comments

The Planetary Society's solar sailing CubeSat has a new designation: LightSail 2. To celebrate the name change, we're releasing a new video showing footage from a late January sail deployment at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

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First Look: Newest LightSail Spacecraft Unfurls Solar Sails

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/01/29 05:31 CST | 3 comments

The Planetary Society's LightSail spacecraft successfully deployed its solar sails Thursday, wrapping up an initial round of system-level tests to prepare the CubeSat for flight.

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Upgraded LightSail Software Completes First Round of Flight Testing

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/01/26 05:04 CST | 2 comments

LightSail has completed its first round of flight testing. The spacecraft is now armed with new software that will transmit almost three times as much health and status data back to Earth than it did during last year's test flight.

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LightSail Program Wraps Busy Year with Test Readiness Review

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/12/17 11:52 CST

On Monday, LightSail engineers and mission managers met at The Planetary Society's Pasadena, California headquarters to prepare for a rigorous suite of spacecraft tests that are expected to begin in January.

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In Pictures: LightSail Cameras Prepped for Flight

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/11/25 01:13 CST | 2 comments

LightSail's flight cameras are being prepped for installation after receiving a software upgrade and checkout from their manufacturer.

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