December 8, 2019 News Magazine

Crowdfunded spacecraft LightSail 2 delivers amazing images of its deployed solar sail

We got word yesterday that the crowdfunded LightSail 2 spacecraft had successfully deployed its mylar solar sail, a large sheet of reflective material that will harness the minute power of photos bouncing off its surface to make an energy-efficient traversal through space. But that was based on data transmitted by the spacecraft, and now we have photographic proof thanks to new images sent by LightSail 2 the next time it was within communication range of a ground station.

These images, and the animated GIF created from a sequence of those captured by the spacecraft’s onboard fisheye cameras, show the boxing-ring-sized mylar sail unfurling – with the GIF sped up about 100 times vs. how long it actually took for the sail to fully deploy and spread out. This is a key milestone, and one the original LightSail never actually accomplished. Now, the mission will continue as LightSail 2 attempts to demonstrate that CubeSats can successfully propel themselves using solar sails, which will have big benefits in terms of cost of operation and accessibility of space research.

20190724 ls2 deploy cam2 esl ver02

The spacecraft launched aboard a Falcon Heavy mission in June, and was built by a team of Georgia Tech students. It underwent extensive pre-deployment testing leading up to this moment, and already, data returned shows that it’s being propelled by the force of the sun striking the sail, which is roughly equivalent to “the weight of a paperclip,” according to The Planetary Society. That small amount of force will accumulate over times and eventually, if all goes to plan, will raise LightSail 2’s current orbit and demonstrate viability of this propulsion method for small sat use.


Source: TechCrunch

Tags: in Uncategorized
Banner
Related Posts

Knowable launches its “not a podcast” $100 audio classes

October 1, 2019

October 1, 2019

Books on tape were the lifeblood of self-help. But eLearning startups like Khan Academy and Coursera demanded our eyes, not...

Farewell, Google Clips

October 17, 2019

October 17, 2019

Amid a slew of updated hardware, Clips has gone missing from Google’s online store. Odds are you probably don’t remember...

NASA moves to final planning stages for mission to explore 16 Psyche’s full metal asteroid

June 12, 2019

June 12, 2019

The value of all the nickel and iron that scientists believe make up 16-Psyche’s potato-shaped asteroid in the outer reaches...

Risks and rewards of digital therapeutics in treating mental disorders

June 19, 2019

June 19, 2019

Madeline Stein & Michael Stein Contributor Share on Twitter Madeline Stein is a first year Doctorate student at Saybrook University...

Move over Slack — Space is a new project management platform for developers

December 6, 2019

December 6, 2019

While file sharing, time tracking, email integration, Gantt Charts, and budget management are usually some of the most requested features...

iOS apps will run on macOS with Project Catalyst

June 3, 2019

June 3, 2019

Apple announced during its WWDC keynote that iOS apps will run on macOS, starting with the next major release of...

Mutiny creates personalized plans for B2B marketing

October 2, 2019

October 2, 2019

Mutiny, a personalized marketing startup for businesses that sell to other businesses, is taking the stage today at TechCrunch’s Startup...

The 9 biggest questions about Google’s Stadia game streaming service

March 19, 2019

March 19, 2019

Google’s Stadia is an impressive piece of engineering to be sure: Delivering high definition, high framerate, low latency video to...

Daily Crunch: Peloton files to go public

June 5, 2019

June 5, 2019

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered...

Tufts expelled a student for grade hacking. She claims innocence

March 8, 2019

March 8, 2019

As she sat in the airport with a one-way ticket in her hand, Tiffany Filler wondered how she would pick...

The new iPhone is ugly

October 19, 2019

October 19, 2019

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a bit old-fashioned when it comes to phones. Everyone scoffs at my...

Portworx raises $27M Series C for its cloud-native data management platform

March 20, 2019

March 20, 2019

As enterprises adopt cloud-native technologies like containers to build their applications, the next question they often have to ask themselves...

CFIUS Cometh: What this Obscure Agency Does and Why It Matters to Your Fund or Startup

May 24, 2019

May 24, 2019

Evan J. Zimmerman Contributor Evan J. Zimmerman is an entrepreneur, investor, and writer. He is the Chairman of Jovono and...

Apollo raises $22M for its GraphQL platform

June 12, 2019

June 12, 2019

Apollo, a San Francisco-based startup that provides a number of developer and operator tools and services around the GraphQL query...

Google Cloud takes aim at verticals starting with new set of tools for retailers

April 10, 2019

April 10, 2019

Google might not be Adobe or Salesforce, but it has a particular set of skills, which fit nicely with retailer...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *