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
Multimedia IconMultimedia

The Launch of LightSail

LightSail launch closeup

Air Date: 05/26/2015
Run Time: 28:50

Listen to the full show:

Or Download mp3


Topics: Planetary Society Projects, asteroids, Planetary Radio, Dawn, LightSail, Mars, Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory), asteroid 1 Ceres

Support Planetary Radio

This special edition takes you behind the scenes on May 20, 2015 as LightSail is lifted into orbit. You’ll hear the thrilling launch, meet key team members as they prepare for the big moment, and hear a special status report from Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye. Emily Lakdawalla also check in, this time with even more spectacular images and animation from dwarf planet Ceres. Bruce Betts helps Mat close the show with a new space trivia contest on What’s Up.

LightSail launch closeup

Navid Baraty / The Planetary Society

LightSail launch closeup
A remote camera located near the launch site captured this view of LightSail's May 20, 2015 launch.

Related Links:

Trivia Contest

This week's prizes are a 200-point account and a stylish Planetary Radio t-shirt!

This week's question:

How many Atlas 5 launches took place in 2014?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at no later than Tuesday, June 2nd at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

Give us a great analogy for the 32-square meter LightSail sail. Prizes will be awarded for the most instructive comparison that provides a great feel for how big it is, and separately for the funniest analogy.


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

What galaxy was named after the larval stage of an amphibian?


The Tadpole Galaxy is named after a larval amphibian.


No trivia contest spoilers please!

Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Planetary Radio Search

Planetary Defense

An asteroid or comet headed for Earth is the only large-scale natural disaster we can prevent. Working together to fund our Shoemaker NEO Grants for astronomers, we can help save the world.


Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join The Planetary Society

Let’s explore the cosmos together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

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