LightSail 2 Mission Success | Solar Sail Propels Itself Using Only Sunbeams From Earth


LightSail 2 Mission: The Mission Success fulfills the dream of four decades on LightSail 2, which is spacecraft to raise orbit using the power of sunlight. The planetary Society has officially demonstrated the practice of the tremendously exciting project.

In Back 1976, Carl Sagan discussed this along with Johnny Carson about this form of space sailing using solar power. After these many years of hard work, the working model of this Mission Success LightSail 2 is moving in the space.

The Mission Success is a project of officers work for ten years, and 7 Million Dollars. They are thrilled to announce the mission Success of LightSail 2, says Bruce Betts who is LightSail Program manager and Society Chief Scientist.

LightSail 2 Mission Success 

Mission Success LightSail 2
Mission Success LightSail 2

The main idea of this project is demonstrating solar spacing in CubeSat by changing the spacecraft’s orbit only by using the light pressure from the sun. It has never done before.

The LighSail 2 Spacecraft is in orbit for over a month, and in the last week, it opens its Sails for the first time. In the eight days from then, it raised the spacecraft orbit to 1.7 Kilometers that pushed along only with the energy for sun photons that bounces off its reflective sails.

The LightSail 2 is the only successful second one to use the solar energy for space sailing after japan’s IKAROS Solar Sail. But unlike the japan’s Spacecraft, it can use the new form of pushing itself actually to change its orbit.

 LightSail 2 Declares Solar Sail Using Only Sunbeams

According to Deva Spencer, project manager stated that the algorithm of LightSail 2 written differently. That is in such way that spacecraft twists 90 degrees every 50 minutes that alter the craft’s orientation.

So, it gets the energy from the sun for drift irrespective of place. In comparison, the IKAROS cannot turn around about four to five degrees. The algorithm is impressive, and it is still updating.  One of the biggest challenges is to change spacecraft momentum and controlled by a spinning wheel.

The wheel helps to change craft orientation so that it turns the push from solar sailing on or off. When the motor starts approaching maximum speed, it should slow down, and this condition occurs twice per day.

LightSail 2 Mission Success
LightSail 2 Mission Success

They are using the electromagnetic torque rods that orient the spacecraft using Earth’s Magnetic Field. But this will take the craft out of proper orientation for solar sailing. The scientists are trying to reduce the saturation points as much as possible.

The CEO of Planetary Society Bill Nye said that they are learning a lot from LightSail 2. They are learning a lot about controlling the spacecraft and performance of sails in the next few months.  It is hard to predict how much fast it can raise its orbit. The simulations before they predicted that space craft’s could go about half a kilometer per day. And in reality, it was not hard as the spacecraft increased by around 900 meters just the other day.

LightSail 2 Solar Sail Propels Itself Using Sunbeams From Earth

The applications of LightSail 2 are many, and scientists have proposed using it in search of Alien Life, Monitoring weather on Sun and as a warning system for incoming asteroids.

If the scientist can find the material that can tolerate heat and radiation more. So, that help spacecraft can go close to the sun and receive enormous energy, and that will allow traveling much farther and at a much higher speed.

This technology will enable us to take things to extraordinary destinations in the solar system and also beyond. As there is no need for any methods to control fuel, manage fuel, and even buy fuel. These are word by Nye.

The CubeSat Revolution is the technology that is so small and helped in solar sailing. It took the forefront and developed the source of in-space propulsion for these tiny spacecraft.


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