Planetary Projects and Human Spaceflight
by Jason Davis
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With the team still trying to download an image from LightSail's second camera, Emily Lakdawalla processed a partial image from the first camera that contains a slice of Earth.
The Planetary Society’s LightSail test mission successfully completed its primary objective of deploying a solar sail in low-Earth orbit.
It’s official: The sails are out. This afternoon, LightSail mission controllers downlinked a partial image of the spacecraft’s solar sails in space.
LightSail is back in business, following the second extended outage of the test spacecraft’s mission. The CubeSat checked in at 2:21 p.m. EDT Saturday.
LightSail didn’t send home pretty pictures of Earth today, but it did relay promising signs that its deployable solar panels swung successfully out into space.
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Funding is critical. The more we have, the more effective we can be, translating into more missions, more science, and more exploration.