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The Planetary SocietyMay 4, 2020

Ten New Pictures from LightSail 2

This month, The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 mission spacecraft celebrates its 10th month in space. The spacecraft continues to successfully operate and use solar sailing for propulsion in low-Earth orbit. 

The mission team regularly captures images of LightSail 2's solar sails to see how their condition changes over the course of the mission. Those images often capture stunning vistas of Earth in the process. In honor of our 10th month in space, here are 10 new pictures from orbit.

You can view our entire gallery of LightSail 2 images here. We also have a page where you can see every raw image downlinked from the spacecraft.

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Western Africa from LightSail 2

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Western Africa from LightSail 2
This image taken by LightSail 2 on 8 February 2020 shows western Africa and the Niger River. North is at lower-left. The sail appears slightly curved due to the spacecraft's 185-degree fisheye camera lens. The image has been color adjusted and some of the distortion has been removed.
The Red Sea and Nile River from LightSail 2

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The Red Sea and Nile River from LightSail 2
This image taken by LightSail 2's camera 2 on 9 February 2020 shows the Red Sea and the Nile River. North is approximately at right. The sail appears slightly curved due to the spacecraft's 185-degree fisheye camera lens. The image has been color adjusted and some of the distortion has been removed.
Chile from LightSail 2

The Planetary Society

Chile from LightSail 2
This image of Chile was taken by LightSail 2 on 17 February 2020. The Uyuni Salt Flat in Bolivia can be seen at the top-center. North is at right. The sail appears slightly curved due to the spacecraft's 185-degree fisheye camera lens. The image has been color adjusted and some of the distortion has been removed.
LightSail 2 sees Cuba and the island of Hispaniola

The Planetary Society

LightSail 2 sees Cuba and the island of Hispaniola
This image taken by LightSail 2's camera 1 on 30 January 2020 shows the Caribbean with the east end of Cuba and the island of Hispaniola. North is approximately at right. The sail appears slightly curved due to the spacecraft's 185-degree fisheye camera lens. The image has been color adjusted and some of the distortion has been removed.
Shadows from LightSail 2 solar panels on sail

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Shadows from LightSail 2 solar panels on sail
This image taken by LightSail 2 on 13 February 2020 shows shadows from the spacecraft's solar panels on the solar sail. The sail appears slightly curved due to the spacecraft's 185-degree fisheye camera lens. The image has been color adjusted and some of the distortion has been removed.
Central America from LightSail 2

The Planetary Society

Central America from LightSail 2
This image of Central America was taken by LightSail 2 on 13 February 2020. Included in the image are Nicaragua, Central America, and Yucatan. North is at bottom. The sail appears slightly curved due to the spacecraft's 185-degree fisheye camera lens. The image has been color adjusted and some of the distortion has been removed.
India at Night from LightSail 2

The Planetary Society

India at Night from LightSail 2
This image taken by LightSail 2 on 7 March 2020 shows Central India at night. Lights from major cities include Bengaluru, Anantapur, and Chennai. North is at left. The sail, which appears in the foreground, appears slightly curved due to the spacecraft's 185-degree fisheye camera lens. The image has been color adjusted and some of the distortion has been removed.
Full Moon over LightSail 2

The Planetary Society

Full Moon over LightSail 2
This image taken by LightSail 2 on 7 March 2020 shows a nearly full Moon illuminating part of the solar sail. The sail appears slightly curved due to the spacecraft's 185-degree fisheye camera lens. The image has been color adjusted and some of the distortion has been removed.
LightSail 2 High-Resolution Deployment Sequence, Camera 1

The Planetary Society

LightSail 2 High-Resolution Deployment Sequence, Camera 1
These high-resolution images were captured by LightSail 2's camera 1 during sail deployment on 23 July 2019. A fully deployed sail image was added at right. The sail appears slightly curved due to the spacecraft's 185-degree fisheye camera lens; no corrections have been made to the pictures.
LightSail 2 High-Resolution Deployment Sequence, Camera 2

The Planetary Society

LightSail 2 High-Resolution Deployment Sequence, Camera 2
These high-resolution images were captured by LightSail 2's camera 2 during sail deployment on 23 July 2019. The sail appears slightly curved due to the spacecraft's 185-degree fisheye camera lens; no corrections have been made to the pictures.

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