LightSail Unfurls Its Sail

©Planetary Society

LightSail sail

The Planetary Society's LightSail test mission successfully completed its primary objective of deploying a solar sail in low-Earth orbit, mission managers said today.

During a ground station pass over Cal Poly San Luis Obispo that began at 1:26 p.m. EDT (17:26 UTC), the final pieces of an image showcasing LightSail's deployed solar sails were received on Earth. The image confirms the sails have unfurled, which was the final milestone of a shakedown mission designed to pave the way for a full-fledged solar sail flight in 2016.

Image: The Planetary Society Larger image

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