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Blogs

Our journalists and guest bloggers bring you stunning imagery and the space stories that matter most.

SLS CubeSats to Set Sail for Deep Space

Jason Davis • February 10, 2016 • 1

When SLS launches Orion to the moon in 2018, a fleet of deep space CubeSats will come along for the ride, including a solar sailing spacecraft similar to LightSail.

Planetary CubeSats Begin to Come of Age

Van Kane • February 17, 2015 • 3

Van Kane rounds up some recent planetary mission concepts based on CubeSat technology.

LightSail update: Launch dates

Jason Davis • July 09, 2014 • 2

I’m excited to report some big news on The Planetary Society’s LightSail project: actual launch dates on actual launch vehicles!

LightSail presented at Aerospace Mechanisms Symposium

Bruce Betts • May 31, 2012 • 20

Chris Biddy from Stellar Exploration Inc. presented information about our LightSail project at the 2012 Aerospace Mechanisms Symposium.

Visiting a Solar Sail in the OC

Mat Kaplan • March 16, 2012

The city of Tustin is about an hour's drive from Planetary Society HQ in Pasadena. That's when the freeway gods are kind, which they never are. The trip I made there yesterday was well worth the trouble.

A new trick for IKAROS: Spinning the other way

Emily Lakdawalla • October 19, 2011

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.

Testing Sail Deployment

Louis D. Friedman • March 06, 2011 • 1

The first full scale deployment of the Planetary Society's LightSail 1 solar sail was conducted on March 4, 2011 at Stellar Exploration in San Luis Obispo, California.

LightSail 1 on NASA Short List for Upcoming Launch

Bruce Betts • February 09, 2011

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.

Nanosail-D released into space

Louis D. Friedman • January 21, 2011

NASA's Nanosail-D spacecraft surprised everyone, including its controllers, by suddenly deploying from its parent FASTSAT spacecraft and beginning its mission in space.

It's Alive! It's Alive!

Charlene Anderson • January 20, 2011

It was once thought lost in space, but it looks like NanoSail-D has ejected from its FastSat carrier and is preparing for deployment.

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