Greetings from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, where The Planetary Society is onsite for tonight’s launch of LightSail 2! This afternoon we got an up-close look at the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket that will carry 24 spacecraft to orbit as part of the U.S. Air Force’s STP-2 mission. Liftoff is set for 23:30 EDT (03:30 UTC), the start of a 4-hour launch window. If for some reason the launch is scrubbed, an identical window is available tomorrow.
LightSail is a citizen-funded project from The Planetary Society to send a small spacecraft, propelled solely by sunlight, to Earth orbit.
The rocket’s two side boosters still bear their scorch marks from April’s Arabsat-6A mission, during which both boosters successfully flew back to Cape Canaveral for upright landings. The center core is pearly white, having never flown.