LightSail deployable solar panel and camera montage

LightSail deployable solar panel and camera montage
LightSail deployable solar panel and camera montage Before sail deployment, LightSail's four deployable solar panels remain closed (top). Two panels have inward-facing cameras. Before solar sail deployment, test images from the cameras will capture the aft spacecraft compartment, which includes the sail deployment motor (middle). Just before sail deployment, the panels hinge outward, positioning the cameras to capture images of the sail unfurling (bottom). Solar panel deployment also clears a path for the sail booms and sails. The solar panels stay closed before deployment to prevent the sail material from billowing out of its storage compartments. Jason Davis / The Planetary Society

"We're changing the world. Are you in?"
- CEO Bill Nye

Sign up for email updates