Press Release

New Details Released for Citizen-Funded LightSail Spacecraft Launch

By SpaceRef Editor
March 9, 2015
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The Planetary Society’s privately funded LightSail spacecraft has arrived in Cape Canaveral, Fla., where it will be integrated with an Atlas V rocket scheduled to launch no earlier than May 6. The spacecraft is part of a secondary payload dubbed ULTRASat, which will fly aboard the classified U.S. Air Force mission AFSPC-5.

Bill Nye (The Science Guy), CEO at The Planetary Society, issued the following statement:

“Our LightSail cubesat passed every one of its tests and has been loaded into its launcher mechanism. I’m naturally happy and excited, but I admit, a bit nervous. We’ve been working to get a solar sail into space since I joined The Planetary Society Board in 1997. It’s quite a milestone. Deep breath, no turning back now, this baby’s on its own now. Here we go…”

For complete coverage of the LightSail test flight, as well as the second LightSail mission scheduled for 2016, visit

SpaceRef staff editor.