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Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.

Here are the First Pictures of Earth from LightSail 2

Pictures taken by the spacecraft's cameras Friday evening show a crescent Earth, as LightSail 2 heads into orbital sunset.

See the Latest Data from LightSail 2 on Our New Mission Control Dashboard

Would you like to see the latest data from The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 spacecraft—possibly before flight controllers have even seen it? Now you can!

LightSail 2 Healthy as Mission Team Continues Spacecraft Checkouts

The mission team is working through a 73-step checklist to check out the spacecraft’s systems and perform various tests.

First Contact! LightSail 2 Phones Home to Mission Control

The mission team received LightSail 2's first signals on 2 July at 01:34 PDT (08:34 UTC), as the spacecraft passed over Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in California.

LightSail 2 Has Launched!

The Planetary Society's solar sail CubeSat lifted off from Kennedy Space Center, Florida on 25 June at 02:30 EDT (06:30 UTC).

LightSail 2 is Ready for Launch

The Planetary Society's solar sailing spacecraft is ready to take flight. We got an up-close look at its ride to orbit.

Here's Our First Look at LightSail 2 Installed on SpaceX's Falcon Heavy Rocket

LightSail 2 is one of 24 spacecraft hitching a ride to orbit as part of the U.S. Air Force's STP-2 mission.

What to Expect when LightSail 2 Launches into Space

Our preview guide outlines the LightSail 2 mission from start to finish.

LightSail 2 Launch Viewing: Tips & Tricks

LightSail 2 is launching on the next SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It is one payload of many on the mission known collectively as STP-2. Space Test Program (STP) is a crucial part of the US Air Force’s development of advanced technologies in space.

LightSail 2 Has a New Launch Date!

The official launch date is now no earlier than June 24th, and the launch window still opens at 11:30 p.m. eastern time.

What's the Difference between LightSail 1 and LightSail 2?

While LightSail 1 and 2 look nearly identical at a glance, there are a few important hardware differences between the two spacecraft.

LightSail 2 Arrives in Florida

Next Stop: Space!

LightSail Launch Event

LightSail 2’s launch window opens on June 22, and we are finalizing plans for our launch viewing celebrations. Once we have finished coordinating the details with the Air Force’s STP-2 mission team and the Kennedy Space Center, we will share them with all of our members and backers so that you can join us in person or remotely via the internet.

LightSail 2 set to launch next month aboard SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket

The Planetary Society's solar sail spacecraft will lift off 22 June 2019 on a mission to demonstrate the power of sunlight for propulsion.

LightSail 2 Integrated with Prox-1 Carrier Spacecraft

The Planetary Society's solar sailing CubeSat is officially on the road to launch.

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy Flies Again; LightSail 2 Is Next!

SpaceX also went three-for-three on booster landings, marking another milestone for its Falcon Heavy rocket.

A Busy Summer

Bruce Betts reports on LightSail 2’s status and looks to the future of solar sailing.

LightSail 2 launch pushed to early 2019

An Air Force official says an ‘initial launch capability’ is being reassessed.

How LightSail and a NASA study helped pave the way for Mars-bound CubeSats

Two NASA CubeSats are approaching Mars — an impressive accomplishment for a concept many people regarded with derision just 15 years ago.

The day I caught rocket fever

On February 6, 2018, I found myself shoulder to shoulder with two of my heroes: Bill Nye on the left, Buzz Aldrin on the right. Our eyes were fixed on the first vertical Falcon Heavy rocket. Figuring the world's most powerful rocket might send me flying backwards once the countdown hit zero, I gripped the railing so tightly I started to lose the feeling in my fingertips.

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