LightSail Solar Sail Test Flight To Be Launched In May

January 27, 2015 1:00 PM

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The Planetary Society announced Monday that it would send its first small craft, LightSail, into the orbit in May. The test solar sail mission will blast off atop the Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to test out key technologies and systems before launching a more advanced trial probe in 2016. The Planetary Society, led by The Science Guy Bill Nye, is a nonprofit organization that promotes space exploration.

The organization has been working on LightSail for almost six years. The project is entirely funded by private citizens and is estimated to cost less than $4 million. It will sail on sunbeams. Photons in the sunlight have a speed and force to them. The sail is bombarded by photons from the sunlight ...

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