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Thursday, September 25, 2014

LightSail Spreads Its Wings (on the Ground)!

A screenshot showing the LightSail-A spacecraft deploying its solar sails during a day-in-the-life test held at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo...on September 23, 2014.
The Planetary Society

Here's a cool video showing The Planetary Society's LightSail spacecraft deploying its sails during a day-in-the-life test held at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo on Tuesday. This marked a huge milestone for the privately-funded project...with the test pretty much going smoothly, and thus paving the way for a possible flight to space for LightSail-A aboard an Atlas V launch vehicle next year. The Society ultimately plans to send LightSail-B (a.k.a. LightSail-1) on an official flight 450 miles above the Earth in April of 2016. This demonstration would set sail (pun intended) aboard SpaceX's new Falcon Heavy rocket. Can't wait!

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