Bill Nye, LightSail™ Team & Planetary Society to Host Solar Sail Spacecraft Press Conference

Experts to Discuss Test Mission Status, Sail Deployment Results, 2016 Mission

Media Advisory
June 08, 2015

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

OVERVIEW: After a successful launch into orbit, The Planetary Society’s LightSail™ spacecraft embarked on a solar sailing test mission as a precursor to a 2016 mission. Complete test mission success hinges on the deployment of LightSail’s Mylar® solar sails. LightSail experts will present sail deployment outcomes and offer a period for media questions. 

WHEN: Wednesday, June 10, 10:30 PDT / 13:30 EDT / 17:30 UTC - to last one hour

WHO: Press briefing speakers will include The Planetary Society CEO & COO, Board of Directors President and LightSail engineering team leaders:

Bill Nye (The Science Guy), CEO, The Planetary Society
Jim Bell, President, Board of Directors, The Planetary Society; Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration Arizona State University
Doug Stetson
LightSail Project Manager; Founder and principal partner of the Space Science and Exploration Consulting Group. 

Experts for Q&A:
Rex Ridenoure, CEO/President, Ecliptic Enterprises Corporation
Barbara Plante, President, Boreal Space
Jason Davis, Digital Editor, Embedded LightSail Journalist
Kevin Okseniuk, undergraduate student, Georgia Institute of Technology  

WHAT: Telepresser following LightSail test mission’s solar sail deployment landmark.

  • R.S.V.P.: Professional journalists are invited to attend. R.S.V.P. to [email protected] to obtain telepresser dial-in logistics and participation parameters. Please include media affiliation. 
  • #AskPlanetary: Journalists may also join the public in posing questions via Twitter. A selection of questions will be answered during the telepresser. 
  • Follow: @jasonrdavis for real-time LightSail news, @eringreeson for media updates and @exploreplanets for Planetary Society news.

WHERE: Remote participation tele-press conference for credentialed media. A listen-only live streaming YouTube component will be available for public audiences.

For in-depth coverage of LightSail’s test and 2016 missions, follow embedded reporter, Jason Davis:

Related Recent News

Press statement (May 30, 2015): LightSail Contact Restored After Software Glitch Paused Communications

Press release (May 20, 2015): Bill Nye & Planetary Society Celebrate LightSail™ Spacecraft Test Launch; Citizen-funded solar sail CubeSat in orbit, awaits sail deployment stage

Media Resources 

Visit the LightSail Press Kit for resources available for media usage, including: videos, photography, biographies and press releases.


Then & Now: Carl Sagan on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson

LightSail Mission Trailer

LightSail Mission (Full Version)

Bill Nye & Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson launch Kickstarter

More Information

LightSail Fact Sheet (PDF)

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