Chris Biddy from Stellar Exploration Inc. presented information about our LightSail project at the 2012 Aerospace Mechanisms Symposium.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/10/19 01:49 CDT
JAXA's solar sail demonstration craft IKAROS is still puttering along, 17 months after it launched, and its controllers back on Earth keep coming up with new things to try with it. I'm pretty amazed by the most recent trick: reversing its spin direction. This may not sound like a big deal, but it is, especially for IKAROS.
Posted by Bruce Betts on 2011/02/09 11:00 CST
NASA announced that the Planetary Society’s LightSail-1 solar sail mission is on their short list for upcoming launch opportunities. The missions selected are Cubesats destined for piggyback launches as part of NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative.
Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2010/10/01 12:00 CDT
Japan's IKAROS team stole the show at the International Solar Sailing Symposium in New York City, where they announced that their spacecraft had achieved controlled solar sail flight.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/15 08:50 CDT
We've already seen IKAROS' view of its deployed sails from cameras attached to the spacecraft, but, in a brilliant idea, the Japanese built IKAROS with two deployable cameras that could view the thing from a distance.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/10 10:46 CDT
JAXA finally issued the formal announcement: they successfully expanded IKAROS' square sail!
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/09 09:19 CDT
Several pictures from the sail deployment monitoring cameras showed up on the IKAROS blog overnight.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/03 04:58 CDT
Planetary Society Executive Director Lou Friedman is now in Japan, joining the rest of the IKAROS team to watch the eagerly anticipated deployment of its solar sails.
Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2010/05/27 12:00 CDT
The LightSail-1 spacecraft development is proceeding well. Our engineering team has completed crucial milestones to building the vehicle that will demonstrate the value and potential of using sunlight alone to propel exploratory craft through space.
Posted by Bruce Betts on 2009/04/01 12:00 CDT
At the beginning of this decade, we designed a mission to accomplish this goal. We launched Cosmos 1 in June 2005, but the Volna rocket that was to place the spacecraft in orbit failed, and we were never able to test our solar sail in flight. These days, The Planetary Society is working with colleagues at NASA and at the Russian Space Research Institute to put together a new solar sail mission.
Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2008/06/23 12:00 CDT
The Planetary Society and Cosmos Studios remain committed to flying the first flight with light. Our spacecraft, Cosmos 2, is a maneuverable solar sail that may be the precursor to a new mode of interplanetary travel, and could one day take us to the stars.