Join Donate

Bill NyeJune 14, 2015

Tonight I Glimpsed LightSail

This article originally appeared on LightSail's Kickstarter page.

Tonight, for the first time, I glimpsed our spacecraft with my own eyes. It was just the faintest pinprick against the bright lights of the big city. But, there it was right on time and exactly per the coordinates. I’ve tried to see it a few times before, but clouds and lights obscured my view.

LightSail 1 glimpsed

Bill Nye / The Planetary Society

LightSail 1 glimpsed
LightSail 1 is somewhere in this shot on June 14, 2015.

Tonight was the first time it was high enough above horizon (41ᵒ) and clear enough. It came out about 20 seconds later than I expected. But there it was. I know that by the time most of you read this, LightSail-A will probably have been incinerated in the atmosphere. That is and was the plan for this test flight. My few moments alone on the roof tonight with our LightSail spacecraft silently crossing the sky were very gratifying.

Thanks for your years of support. We are advancing space science and exploration. This mission is part of our mission. The best is yet ahead.


LightSail 1 with solar sails deployed

The Planetary Society

LightSail 1 with solar sails deployed
LightSail 1 captured this image of its deployed solar sails in Earth orbit on June 8, 2015.

Read more: Planetary Society Projects, mission status, LightSail

You are here:
Bill Nye headshot head shot
Bill Nye

Chief Executive Officer for The Planetary Society
Read more articles by Bill Nye

Comments & Sharing
Bill Nye and people
Let's Change the World

Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration.

Join Today

The Planetary Fund

Help advance robotic and human space exploration, defend our planet, and search for life.


"We're changing the world. Are you in?"
- CEO Bill Nye

Sign Up for Email Updates