SpaceX Solar Sail

SpaceX’s latest Falcon Heavy rocket is set for its third and most complicated launch yet later today from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. How? It’s carrying two dozen satellites into Earth orbit, and the entire mission will span over six hours since its upper stage must deliver its payloads to three different orbits. These satellites include an atomic clock for deep space navigation and the Planetary Society’s LightSail 2, which uses pressure from light particles hitting the sail for navigation. Read more for another video and additional information.



“The LightSail 2 consists of a small cubesat about the size of a loaf of bread that will catch a ride inside the PROX-1, a small satellite designed by students at the Georgia Institute of Technology. After some testing to make sure everything is working correctly, the cubesat will begin to unfurl its mylar sail, which is about the size of a boxing ring and thinner than a human hair. For at least a month, the LightSail 2 will use pressure from light particles, or photons, to lift itself into a higher orbit,” according to Wired.