LightSail 2 is soaring
On the 31st July 2019, The Planetary Society announced that LightSail 2, the solar-powered spacecraft that orbits the earth was very successful and it went soaring!
The CEO of The Planetary Society, Bill Nye released this statement:
After LightSail 2 was a major success, mission managers remotely optimized the craft's orientation.
With the small changes made, the craft began raising its orbit above our home, our planet!
Which raised its apogee, or orbital high point.
Over the course of the past 4 days, the craft has raised its apogee about 1.2 miles (2 km).
The mission team recently confirmed that the orbital raising could be due to successful solar sailing, or it could be propulsion from photons, which are particles that transmit light from the sun.
"With this accomplishment, LightSail 2 actually became the first spacecraft to be propelled by solar sailing in Earth orbit! It also is the first small spacecraft to be propelled by solar sailing, and the second-ever spacecraft to successfully use solar sailing," .
Overall, it is clear this mission has been a very big success for Bill Nye, and the mission team.
We applaud them.