Join Donate

LightSail

Flight by light for CubeSats

[[?[[S8]]::admin::::

]]

LightSail-1 has a launch date! The Planetary Society's solar sailing spacecraft is scheduled to launch aboard the SpaceX Falcon Heavy in April 2016. 

Replay the live announcement

Read the press release

Read the story

CubeSats are tiny, low-cost satellites that have opened up new avenues of space research for universities and small organizations.

In order for CubeSat applications to reach the next level, the miniature satellites need a reliable form of propulsion for orbital maneuvers and trips beyond our planet. This is where solar sailing—transferring the momentum of photons to a large reflective sail—comes in. The technology was successfully used by Japan’s IKAROS mission in 2010, and NASA’s NanoSail-D test-deployed a CubeSat solar sail in Earth orbit later that year.

In 2016, The Planetary Society’s LightSail program will take the technology a step further. LightSail-1 will attempt to demonstrate controlled solar sailing—flight by light—for CubeSats.

Project updates

Here are the First Pictures of Earth from LightSail 2

Jason Davis • July 07, 2019 • 10

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

Jason Davis • July 05, 2019

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

Jason Davis • July 03, 2019

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

Items 19 - 21 of 156  Previous12345678910Next
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

Europa
The Planetary Fund

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

Donate

You are here: