Images show Lightsail 2 spacecraft's solar sail has deployed

Images show Lightsail 2 spacecraft's solar sail has deployed
This photo provided on Thursday, July 25, 2019, by the Planetary Society shows a portion of the LightSail2 spacecraft, top, and part of Earth, centered on Baja California, Mexico. It was one of the photos transmitted from The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 spacecraft, confirming the successful deployment of its solar sail. (Planetary Society via AP)

Photos transmitted from The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 spacecraft orbiting Earth confirm that it successfully deployed its solar sail.

The was launched from Florida last month and images from this week's deployment sequence were downlinked from the orbiter by flight controllers at California Polytechnic State University , San Luis Obispo.

One image shows a large part of the sail with much of Mexico and its Baja California peninsula on the Earth below.

The sail is formed by four triangular sheets of extremely thin, reflective Mylar that form a square about the size of a boxing ring.

The project is an experiment to see if the momentum of photons hitting the sail will accelerate the craft sufficiently to raise its orbit .

Such sails could potentially propel tiny satellites known as CubeSats.


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Citation: Images show Lightsail 2 spacecraft's solar sail has deployed (2019, July 26) retrieved 15 September 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-07-images-lightsail-spacecraft-solar-deployed.html
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