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Crowdfunded spacecraft LightSail 2 surprises with amazing photos before the implementation of sails – TechCrunch



LightSail 2 can still have at least a few days before it starts its main goal, developing the solar sail it has on board and learn more about propelling a space ship using only the power of photons, but does not waste time on its orbital journey. New photos from the crowdfunded spacecraft, which is operated by The Planetary Society, provide a stunning view of the Earth in high definition from a unique point of view.

The spacecraft has just received a firmware update that has corrected some problems with orientation control after the solar-powered test, without actually using the sail itself. According to The Planetary Society, the patch has been successfully transmitted and the space vehicle is generally "healthy and stable". The earliest possible date for the implementation of sails is June 21, this Sunday, but it will depend on the trust of the mission team that it is really ready to develop and use effectively.

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The development of LightSail 2 has been partially funded by a successful social funding campaign run by the Planetary Society under the leadership of Bill Nye and is still looking for resources for current Crowdrise operations. Its purpose is to test the ability of a spacecraft to fly only with the power of photons from the sun hitting a sun sail built of mylar. The launch of this space transport method is extremely slow, but thanks to the space-free medium of space, it can be an extremely energy-saving way for research units to travel long distances.

Launched on June 25 as part of a shared load of the latest version of SpaceX by Falcon Heavy.


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