PS: LightSail 2 Set to Launch Next Month

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PS: LightSail 2 Set to Launch Next Month

Post by bystander » Thu May 16, 2019 4:02 pm

LightSail 2 Set to Launch Next Month Aboard SpaceX Falcon Heavy
Planetary Society | 2019 May 13
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The Dream of Solar Sailing ~ Credit: Planetary Society
The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 spacecraft is ready to embark on a challenging mission to demonstrate the power of sunlight for propulsion.

Weighing just 5 kilograms, the loaf-of-bread-sized spacecraft, known as a CubeSat, is scheduled to lift off on 22 June 2019 aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Once in space, LightSail 2 will deploy a boxing ring-sized solar sail and attempt to raise its orbit using the gentle push from solar photons. ...

If successful, LightSail 2 will become the first spacecraft to raise its orbit around the Earth using sunlight. While light has no mass, it has momentum that can be transferred to other objects. A solar sail harnesses this momentum for propulsion. LightSail 2 will demonstrate the application of solar sailing for CubeSats, small, standardized spacecraft that have made spaceflight more affordable for academics, government organizations, and private institutions.

LightSail 2 will ride to space aboard the Department of Defense's Space Test Program-2 (STP-2) mission scheduled for launch on 22 June 2019, which will send 24 spacecraft to 3 different orbits. LightSail 2 itself will be enclosed within Prox-1, a Georgia Tech-designed spacecraft originally built to demonstrate close-encounter operations with other spacecraft. Prox-1 will deploy LightSail 2 seven days after launch. ...

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