After a struggle LightSail-A finally deploys its solar sail

by | Jun 11, 2015 | Satellites, Seradata News, Technology | 0 comments

The Planetary Society’s crowd-funded LightSail-A solar sail test mission nearly came to a premature end twice before it even had a chance to unravel itself.  Two days after its launch on 20 May on an Atlas V, along with the X-37B OTV Mission 4 space plane and several cubesats, the 3U-cubesat LightSail-A craft with is solar arrays folded out, developed trouble when its computer shut down and telemetry contact was lost.  The cause was due to cosmic radiation triggering a reboot of the system.

Having been recovered, there was further trouble on 4 June when a battery charging anomaly resulted in their not being enough power to initiate the unfurling of the solar sail (the spacecraft was apparently  intermittently receiving too little or to much power from its solar cells).  Eventually, however, the spacecraft had enough battery power and the 5.5m square solar sail was fully unfurled. LightSail-A re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere on 14 June 2015.  With the concept being proven, further solar sails are being planned for interplanetary missions, similar to the Ikaros mission to Venus conducted by the Japanese space agency JAXA.

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned Seradata database. Trusted by over 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, Seradata is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to https://www.seradata.com/product/

Related Articles

Categories

Archives

Tags

nasaspacexecoreviewsissesaArianespacevideochinaFalcon 9v1.2FT Block 525virgin galacticULAfalcon 9RoscosmosevaDGAspacewalkaviation weekInternational Space StationaressoyuzIGTRocket LabBlue OriginBeidouawardsStarlinkspaceSatellite broadcastingrussiaAirbus DSboeingmoonISROOneWebCargo Return VehiclemarsblogresearchspaceshiptwojaxaorionmarsimpactdelayhyperbolaEutelsatdemocratrocketlunarhypertextobamagoogle lunar prizelaunchVegaSESbarack obamaconstellationtourismnorthfiguresthales alenia spacespaceflightIntelsatnode 2fundedRaymond Lygo2009Lockheed MartinExpress MD-2Elon MuskAtlas Vromess2dassault aviationaviationLucy2008wk2sstlukradiosuborbitaltestmissiledocking portexplorationAriane 5 ECAVirgin OrbitinternetLong March 2D/2sts-122SLSNorthrop GrummanChina Manned Space EngineeringAriane 5missile defensenewspapercotsgalileospace tourismflight2010ElectronLong March 4CspaceportExpress AMU 1buildspace stationaltairsoyuz 2-1aProton Minternational astronautical congressshuttlespace shuttlescaled compositesIntelsat 23European Space AgencyLauncherOneCosmosnew yorkrulesAriane 6hanleybudgetatvVietnamshenzhoucongressMojaveboldennew shepardLong March 2CInmarsatOrbital ATKcnesiaclunar landerGuiana Space CenterkscApollolawsUS Air ForceSpace Systems/LoralUK Space AgencyLong March 4BKuaizhou 1AILSprotondarpaTalulah RileyElectron KSFalcon 9v1.2 Block 5Vega CNorth KoreaeuAstriumSkylonpicturebaseusaastronautdragonlanderfiveeventTelesatSSLAprilSNC50thinterviewLong MarchSea LaunchfalconWednesdaycustomerlinkatlantissuccessor

Stay Informed with Seradata

Stay informed on the latest news, insights, and more from Seradata by signing up for our newsletter.