Comprehensive multimedia resources to support LightSail reporting including current news, archives, biographies, video, high-resolution photography for print and online purposes, and background information.
A new issue of The Planetary Report brings you our pride in the success of LightSail 2 and our gratitude to our members for making it happen. Plus Venus science from Akatsuki and Venus Express, and the status of planetary defense.
We lost and gained spacecraft at the Moon last quarter. India’s Chandrayaan-2 left Earth orbit for the Moon on 13 August, and its Vikram lander aims at a 7 September touchdown. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter just celebrated its tenth launch anniversary. China’s smallsat Longjiang-2 crashed on 31 July, ending its successful mission.
I explore space because I like feeling insignificant. I crave a dark night sky that reminds me that our Sun and even our galaxy are not unique. I find comfort in thinking about countless generations of humans looking at the same sky and asking questions similar to the ones I ask.
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.