Monday, August 12, 2019

Lightsail-2 Proves Sunlight Can Propel a Spacecraft

Lightsail-2 unfurls its solar sail
(Courtesy Planetary Society
Lightsail-2, a crowdfunded project of The Planetary Society, was able to increase the height of its orbit after unfurling its solar sail in late July. With no fueled propulsion system, the maneuver proved the mission's main goal of showing that satellites may be powered in space by photons from the sun. This means that small cubesats might be powered by sunlight in the future, not only for electronics but for propulsion as well.

According to the AMSAT News Service, Lightsail-2 has a beacon transmitter on 437.025 MHz, operating under experimental call sign WM9XPA. The beacon transmits 9600-baud packet (AX.25). More details may be found at <>.