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LightSail Just Won't Give Up

By Keith Cowing
June 7, 2015
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LightSail Just Won't Give Up

Deployment! LightSail Boom Motor Whirrs to Life, Planetary Society
“LightSail’s tiny solar sail deployment motor sprung to life Sunday afternoon, marking an important milestone for The Planetary Society’s nail-biting test mission. Sail deployment began at 3:47 p.m. EDT (19:47 UTC) off the coast of Baja California, Mexico, as the spacecraft traveled northwest to southeast. Telemetry received on the ground showed motor counts climbing to the halfway point before LightSail traveled out of range. Power levels were consistent with ground-based deployment tests, and the spacecraft’s cameras were on. “All indications are that the solar sail deployment was proceeding nominally,” wrote mission manager David Spencer in an email update. LightSail is currently out of range until 2:26 a.m. EDT Monday. Ground control teams at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Georgia Tech will begin transferring the spacecraft’s images from its cameras to flight system. ”
LightSail Reboots Itself – Now Ready to Sail, earlier post

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.