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Experimental Spacecraft LightSail 2 Snaps Amazing Photos

July 17th 19__Victor Tangermann__Filed Under: Sci-Fi Visions
The Planetary Society

Earth Snapshot

Crowdfunded spacecraft LightSail 2 just snapped some incredible photos of the Earth, days before it’s scheduled to unfurl its solar sails.

Spare bandwidth allowed for two high-resolution images of our planet to reach the LightSail 2 team.

Solar Sail

The Planetary Society’s unusual space vehicle launched on top of a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket last month from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

LightSail 2 will explore a futuristic new way of locomotion in outer space that relies purely on sunlight. If all goes according to plan, a boxing ring-sized solar sail will unfurl and start collecting photons from the Sun to use for momentum.

The hope is to establish a new way of traveling to the far reaches of our Solar System without having to rely on heavy and expensive rocket fuel.

Deploying the Sail

Thanks to a firmware update sent to the spacecraft, the Planetary Society reports that it’s “healthy and stable in its current orbit,” according to a statement.

The team is waiting for further data from the spacecraft to make sure it’s safe to unfurl the solar sail.

READ MORE: Crowdfunded spacecraft LightSail 2 snaps amazing photos ahead of solar sail deployment [Tech Crunch]

More on LightSail 2: A New Website Tracks the Just-Launched Solar Sail Spaceship