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Science & Technology

'Almost-successful' LightSail test at Cal Poly says Bill Nye

Jay Thompson - Cal Poly
Bill Nye (The Science Guy) addresses reporters at the testing of a LightSail on Monday.

Scientists at Cal Poly are headed back to the drawing board after a semi-successful test this afternoon of a space craft prototype known as a LightSail. 

Bill Nye, known to a generation of science enthusiasts as The Science Guy, is the head of the Planetary Society, a group collaborating with the University on this project.

Nye said Monday that several stages of the testing worked well including the initial automatic unfurling of the sails themselves, but then the motor kept pushing on those sails and had to be shot off manually.

LightSail technology, also known as a solar sail, could greatly change the speed at which we travel in space harnessing photons as a propulsion source.