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LightSail 2 partner spacecraft ships safely to New Mexico

Jason Davis • June 02, 2017

Georgia Tech's Prox-1 spacecraft has arrived at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where it will be integrated with LightSail 2. The SmallSats will ride to orbit on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket in December 2017 or later.

Bill Nye Honors Carl Sagan, Talks LightSail® on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”

Erin Greeson • May 09, 2017

Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye appeared on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” In a nod to Sagan (Bill’s Astronomy professor at Cornell University), Bill unveiled his own shiny version of a crude model.

Old documents shine new light on NASA's plan to send a solar sail to Halley's Comet

Jason Davis • May 04, 2017

The Planetary Society's LightSail project has roots in a late-1970s NASA plan to send a giant solar sail spacecraft to Halley's Comet. Now, a cache of archival documents adds new depth to the audacious plan.

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

Jason Davis • March 20, 2017

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.

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

Jason Davis • February 13, 2017

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.

See LightSail at the London Science Museum

Erin Greeson • February 07, 2017

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

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

Jason Davis • January 13, 2017

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

Ground finale? Deployment test moves LightSail 2 closer to handoff

Jason Davis • December 06, 2016

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.

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

Jason Davis • October 07, 2016

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.

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

Jason Davis • August 08, 2016

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.

Videos and updates: LightSail 2 shows off magnetic personality

Jason Davis • July 13, 2016

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.

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

Jason Davis • June 10, 2016

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

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

Jason Davis • May 24, 2016

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.

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

Jason Davis • May 20, 2016

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.

Planetary Society solar sails paved way for Alpha Centauri starshot

Jason Davis • April 22, 2016

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.

LightSail 2 engineers continue to test for success

Jason Davis • April 18, 2016

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.

Selfies, messages and names delivered for LightSail 2 flight

Jason Davis • March 29, 2016

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

Rulers in space! LightSail 2 equipped with boom fiducials

Jason Davis • March 14, 2016

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

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

Jason Davis • February 29, 2016

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.

First Look: Newest LightSail Spacecraft Unfurls Solar Sails

Jason Davis • January 29, 2016

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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