All hands on deck. The LightSail two space propulsion test project seems to have passed a serious milestone by deploying a shiny Mylar solar sail in space on Tuesday.
Solar sailing is both futuristic and old-fashioned. As an alternative of counting on the wind like a sailboat, LightSail is pushed by photon particles from the sun bouncing off the big reflective surface of the sail.
The Planetary Society, which is headed up by CEO and science celeb Bill Nye, is operating the LightSail 2 project. “All indications are that LightSail 2 has efficiently deployed its solar sail,” the group tweeted. The society adopted up with a final affirmation of success.
Lightsail 2 hitched a ride to space onboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket in June. Science stars Nye, and Neil deGrasse Tyson spearheaded a Kickstarter campaign in 2015 to assist fund the mission. It raised over $1.2 million.
The Planetary Society says LightSail 2 “aims to change into the first spacecraft in Earth orbit propelled solely by daylight.” The group needs to display that solar sailing might be used as a method of propulsion for CubeSats, tiny, cheap satellites that discover and conduct science in space.
If LightSail 2 is successful, it may open the trail for bolder solar sail missions beyond Earth orbit, all the best way to different planets and even other star systems.
Now we simply want Katrina & The Waves to rerecord their ’80s hit song as Sailing on Sunshine instead.