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The Planetary Report • March Equinox 2015

Maiden Voyage

On the Cover: We’re at the Cape! The design changes, the do-overs, the tests and retests are all done and LightSail has arrived at Cape Canaveral, Florida, ready for its launch to orbit on an Atlas V rocket. This will be LightSail’s shakedown cruise; we’re checking all its systems in preparation for our primary mission in 2016. This moment has been years in the making and a sometimes wild ride. Thank you for riding with us.
Illustration: Josh Spradling


6 Countdown: Jason Davis describes the steps that got LightSail ready to fly.

13 Stories in Stone: Barbara Cohen looks for planets' histories written in their rocks.

20 Protecting Our Planet: Bruce Betts details gains made by NEO Grant winners.

22 We're On Our Way to Europa: Casey Dreier celebrates a new start for a long-desired mission.


2 Snapshots from Space A fresh look at Saturn.

4 Your Place in Space Bill Nye reflects on staying true to our original vision.

11 Happening on Planetary Radio Inside and in-depth, radio at its best!

12 On A new, one-stop shop for Society videos, and more!

18 Volunteer Spotlight Kate Howells reports on the Space Exploration Society-Berkeley, our representative on the UC Berkeley campus.

19 What’s Up? Planets, of course!

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Bill Nye and people
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