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

In Pictures: LightSail, Meet X-37B

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/05/08 04:13 CDT | 1 comment

United Launch Alliance has released photos showing the Air Force's X-37B spaceplane being stacked on its Atlas V at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Read More »

What Images Will We Get Back from the LightSail Test Mission?

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/05/08 10:18 CDT | 3 comments

With less than two weeks before launch, here's an in-depth look at whether the LightSail test mission's attitude control system bug will keep us from seeing pretty pictures taken by the spacecraft.

Read More »

LightSail Readiness Tests Prepare Team for Mission Operations

Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/04/24 12:36 CDT | 3 comments

The LightSail team continues to prepare for the spacecraft's May test flight with a series of readiness simulations that mimic on-orbit operations.

Read More »

Items 25 - 27 of 65  Previous12345678910Next
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

LightSail

Support LightSail!

Our LightSail test mission was successfully completed and our Kickstarter campaign ended June 26th, raising $1.24 million dollars for LightSail's 2016 solar sailing mission! Miss the Kickstarter campaign, but still want to donate? You can!

I want to help!

Featured Images

New Horizons launches
SpaceX CRS-7 Falcon 9 breakup
SpaceX CRS-7
Of Course I Still Love You
More Images

Featured Video

3D Printed Planetary Logo

Watch Now

Selfies to Space!

Take flight with a selfie on LightSail™ in 2016!

Send a Selfie Now

Join the New Millennium Committee

Let’s invent the future together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook! Twitter! Google+ and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!