Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty
Explore

LightSail

Flight by light for CubeSats

[[?[[S8]]::admin::::

]]

LightSail-1 has a launch date! The Planetary Society's solar sailing spacecraft is scheduled to launch aboard the SpaceX Falcon Heavy in April 2016. 

Replay the live announcement

Read the press release

Read the story

Josh Spradling / The Planetary Society

LightSail-1 Mission Trailer

CubeSats are tiny, low-cost satellites that have opened up new avenues of space research for universities and small organizations.

In order for CubeSat applications to reach the next level, the miniature satellites need a reliable form of propulsion for orbital maneuvers and trips beyond our planet. This is where solar sailing—transferring the momentum of photons to a large reflective sail—comes in. The technology was successfully used by Japan’s IKAROS mission in 2010, and NASA’s NanoSail-D test-deployed a CubeSat solar sail in Earth orbit later that year.

In 2016, The Planetary Society’s LightSail program will take the technology a step further. LightSail-1 will attempt to demonstrate controlled solar sailing—flight by light—for CubeSats.

Project updates

A Kilometer Per Day: LightSail Mission Managers Refine Orbit-Raising Plan

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/09/04 04:04 CDT | 6 comments

LightSail will spiral away from Earth by about one kilometer per day, according to the latest orbital estimates by Georgia Tech's Space Systems Design Laboratory.

Read More »

LightSail Lands New Hardware for Laser Ranging

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/08/18 08:16 CDT | 2 comments

A cluster of small mirrors will be added to LightSail's aft hull to allow engineers to precisely track its position as it sails around the planet next year.

Read More »

LightSail Nominated for SmallSat Mission of the Year

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/08/11 04:03 CDT | 2 comments

The Planetary Society’s LightSail spacecraft has been nominated for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Small Satellite Technical Committee Mission of the Year 2015 award.

Read More »

Items 16 - 18 of 94  Previous12345678910Next
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Essential Advocacy

Our Advocacy Program 
provides each Society member 
a voice in the process.



Funding is critical. The more 
we have, the more effective 
we can be, translating into more 
missions, more science, 
and more exploration.

Donate

Featured Images

BEAM expansion progress
THAICOM 8 drone ship landing
BEAM on Canadarm
Mars near opposition from Pic du midi Observatory, 2016
More Images

Featured Video

The Planetary Post - A Visit To JPL

Watch Now

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join the New Millennium Committee

Let’s invent the future together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!