The LightSail two spacecraft is ready for launch. Developed by the Planetary Society the spacecraft is a part of an ambitious mission which aims to show how the energy of the sun rays can be used for propulsion. At just five kilograms and on par with the size of a loaf of bread a CubeSat fitted with the solar sail will be launched on 22 June 2019 with the help of a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. The lift-off will take place at the Kenned Space Center in Florida.
After LightSail 2 reaches space, a solar sail will be deployed, in an attempt to carry it towards the orbit. The spacecraft is an apex point for the ten-year project. The Planetary Society was founded in 1980 by three visionary scientists who wanted to create a new propulsion method. LightSail is an independent initiative coordinated by The Planetary Society and funded by citizens. The project aims to create a functional spacecraft which can reach the orbit of the Earth with the help of sunlight.
LightSail 2 to launch next month
If everything goes according to plan LightSail, two will be the first spacecraft which was able to orbit around the Earth with the help of sunlight. Light itself has no mass, but it contains momentum which can be redirected to other objects. A custom solar sail can capture this momentum and use it for propulsion. The current mission aims to prove that the solution is viable for CubeSats, which are small satellites used for a variety of purposes by universities, government organizations and private entities.
A place has been secured aboard the SpaceX flight commission by the Department of Defense. The Falcon Heavy rocket will carry a total number of 24 devices two three different orbits. LightSail 2 will be housed by Prox-1, which was designed as a mean to handle operations which involve other spacecraft. After seven days the sail will be released, and it will begin its journey.
Emmy Skylar started working for Debate Report in 2017. Emmy grew up in a small town in northern Manitoba. But moved to Ontario for university. Before joining Debate Report, Emmy briefly worked as a freelance journalist for CBC News. She covers politics and the economy.