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LightSail 2 is officially in space! The Planetary Society's solar sail CubeSat lifted off from Kennedy Space Center, Florida on 25 June at 02:30 EDT (06:30 UTC). The late-night launch came courtesy of SpaceX's triple-booster Falcon Heavy rocket, which was carrying 24 spacecraft for the U.S. Air Force's STP-2 mission.
NASA's final 2020 budget rejected every major cut proposed by the Trump Administration, increased funding for popular congressional projects such as the Space Launch System, and underfunded several key administration proposals, including a human-qualified lunar lander and low-Earth orbit commercialization projects.
CubeSats have made low-cost space missions a reality for universities and research groups. However, these tiny satellites lack propulsion. LightSail will demonstrate the viability of solar sailing for CubeSats.