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

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

Jason Davis • May 24, 2016 • 7

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 • 1

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 • 4

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 • 3

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 • 2

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 • 1

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 • 3

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.

Upgraded LightSail Software Completes First Round of Flight Testing

Jason Davis • January 26, 2016 • 2

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.

LightSail Program Wraps Busy Year with Test Readiness Review

Jason Davis • December 17, 2015

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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