solar sailing

Josh Spradling / The Planetary Society

Update July 9, 2019

The deployment of Lightsail 2’s solar sails has been delayed until at least Sunday, July 21. Bruce Betts, Lightsail 2 mission program manager, said the spacecraft is stable and healthy; however, some unexpected behavior in altitude control system sensors has the mission team slowing down. “We don’t want to rush it,” Betts told KCBX News on Tuesday afternoon. “We may have to upload fixes and we want to do it in a methodical way.” KCBX News will continue to check in with the team at Cal Poly for updates.

ORIGINAL STORY PUBLISHED JULY 3, 2019

A unique spacecraft is now orbiting the earth, and soon a team at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo will command it to unfurl super-thin stretches of Mylar, serving as sails. The craft will then glide along, propelled only by sunlight.