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

Here's What We've Learned So Far from LightSail 2

A new paper recaps mission events, discusses solar sail performance, and describes how the spacecraft's orbit has changed.

The Biggest Little Asteroid Observatory

The Center for Solar System Studies, a perennial Planetary Society Shoemaker NEO Grant winner, is a small observatory that makes big contributions to near-Earth asteroid research.

Planetary Society Talks Europa, Planetary Defense, and Solar Sailing in Washington D.C.

Thanks to our members and donors, The Planetary Society participated in several activities at the 2019 International Astronautical Conference.

“I Talk to It Every Day”: Students are Vital Members of LightSail 2 Team

More than 50,000 people supported LightSail 2. But only one person can talk to the spacecraft at a time, and it's often a student.

NASA to Build New Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope

The yet-to-be-named telescope would launch as soon as 2024, as part of NASA's new, multi-pronged approach to planetary defense.

Bill Nye, Planetary Society Staff Listen to LightSail 2 Signal

When LightSail 2 recently flew south of The Planetary Society's headquarters, CEO Bill Nye and other staff members stepped outside to listen.

Astronomers May Have Found an Interstellar Comet. Here's Why That Matters.

Astrophysicist Karl Battams tells us what we can learn by studying objects from outside our solar system.

Calling All Image Processors: Help Us Create a Top-Down View of LightSail 2

We've got 2 fish-eye pictures of the spacecraft's solar sail from opposite cameras, and we're hoping they can be combined.

India's Vikram Spacecraft Apparently Crash-Lands on Moon

Communications were lost with the lander, which was carrying a small rover named Pragyan to the lunar surface.

Hayabusa2 Lander Mania: Results from MASCOT, Plans for MINERVA-II2

Japan's sample return spacecraft only has about 3 months left at asteroid Ryugu. Its next action will be to drop more stuff on the surface.

LightSail 2 Marks 1 Month of Solar Sailing

LightSail 2's orbital high point around the Earth has raised by 7.2 kilometers, without any conventional fuel.

Mars 2020 Rover almost Assembled

Last week, technicians installed the carousel that holds the tools and drill bits that will be used to collect samples for future return to Earth.

Chandrayaan-2 Enters Lunar Orbit

The combination lander, rover, and orbiter fired its main engine to enter orbit around the Moon at 09:02 IST (03:32 UTC) on 20 August.

OSIRIS-REx Team Picks 4 Candidate Sample Sites on Asteroid Bennu

The sites each have unique characteristics that would advance the field of asteroid science.

How to See LightSail 2 in the Night Sky

If your latitude is within 42 degrees of the equator, there's a chance you may be able to spot LightSail 2's reflective solar sail.

Chandrayaan-2 Headed for Lunar Orbit

At 02:21 IST (20:51 UTC), the spacecraft fired its main engine, changing its orbit to intersect with the Moon.

Hayabusa2 Nailed its Second Touchdown on Asteroid Ryugu

JAXA's sample collection spacecraft touched down just 60 centimeters away from its aimpoint.

LightSail 2 Nears 2 Weeks of Solar Sailing

The high point of the spacecraft's orbit around the Earth on Monday was 729 kilometers, an increase of 3.2 kilometers since sail deployment.

LightSail 2 Spacecraft Successfully Demonstrates Flight by Light

In the past 4 days, the spacecraft has raised its orbital high point, or apogee, by about 2 kilometers.

LightSail 2 Successfully Deploys Solar Sail

Images from The Planetary Society's spacecraft confirm the solar sails deployed on 23 July 2019 at 11:47 PDT (18:47 UTC).

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