The Planetary Society's LightSail spacecraft made an appearance on national television Monday night during a two-minute segment by CBS Evening News. Featured in the video was Planetary Society Chief Operating Officer Jennifer Vaughn, who spoke about LightSail's mission to demonstrate the viability of solar sailing for small spacecraft. "We really hope to kick-start a process where others now take the technology and make it better," she said.
Also speaking about the project was Ecliptic Enterprises Corporation CEO Rex Ridenoure, who hosted CBS News during a recent tour of his company. Ecliptic is LightSail's integrating contractor for testing and flight readiness. The spacecraft shown in Ecliptic's clean room was actually LightSail 2, which is being prepped to ride a SpaceX Falcon Heavy to orbit next year. The first LightSail unit has been shipped to Cape Canaveral, Fla., where it awaits a May 6 launch aboard an Atlas V rocket.
For more on the project, visit our LightSail website at sail.planetary.org.
Solar-powered satellite to set sail for space Video: CBS Evening News