The Planetary Society Invites Press to LightSail™ 2 Day in the Life Test

Citizen-funded solar sail spacecraft undergoes key testing in preparation for flight

Media Advisory
May 02, 2016

Erin Greeson
Phone: +1-626-793-5100


The Planetary Society attendees:

  • Bill Nye (The Science Guy), CEO
  • Bruce Betts, director of science and technology; program manager, LightSail
  • Jason Davis, digital editor; LightSail embedded journalist

Georgia Institute of Technology

  • Dave Spencer, project manager, LightSail 2


Building on the 2015 success of LightSail 1, The Planetary Society is preparing for the LightSail™ 2 mission, with the objective to demonstrate controlled solar sailing. The Day in the Life tests will occur in a cleanroom laboratory environment and an engineering high bay with the objectives to test the spacecraft’s readiness to perform in space. The tests will culminate with a full-scale deployment of the spacecraft's 32-square-meter sails. Media will be able to watch the sail deployment.


May 23, 2016 test date; May 24, 2016 as backup date

Important Message to Media: Like all spacecraft tests, precise timing for the LightSail 2 Day in the Life test is subject to change. Attending journalists are advised to book flexible travel arrangements.

  • Phase 1: Solar panel and antenna deployment testing at Advanced Technology Labs (Building 7) . Estimated time: Morning to mid-afternoon.
  • Phase 2: Solar sail deployment test at Bonderson Engineering Center (Building 197)
    Estimated time: Late afternoon to evening.
    Refined times, if available, will be issued the week before the DITL test.


California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California

Specific building locations can be found on this Google Map.


A) ONSITE: Interviews, test viewing, photo and video opportunities. Capacity is limited; Media attendees will secure attendance on a first-come, first-serve basis. R.S.V.P. to [email protected] to secure onsite reporting opportunity. Logistical details regarding the facility, parking, and timing updates will be delivered subsequently, including  press gathering location.

B) REMOTE: Interviews, remote viewing of test results (via Jason Davis’ blog coverage), images and videos will be provided by The Planetary Society for media usage.


About The Planetary Society

With a global community of more than 2 million space enthusiasts, The Planetary Society is the world’s largest and most influential space advocacy organization. Founded in 1980 by Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray, and Louis Friedman and today led by CEO Bill Nye, we empower the public to take a meaningful role in advancing space exploration through advocacy, education outreach, scientific innovation, and global collaboration. Together with our members and supporters, we’re on a mission to explore worlds, find life off Earth, and protect our planet from dangerous asteroids. To learn more, visit