Sunday, May 31, 2015

Bill Nye's LightSail Spacecraft – Communication Lost

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Bill Nye's Solar Particle-Powered Spacecraft

By Arielle Duhaime-Ross

     Bill Nye's solar particle-powered spacecraft, LightSail, has lost communication with Earth. The spacecraft launched a week ago, but a software glitch has removed the craft's ability to send data back to Earth. So far, efforts to remotely reboot the craft's computer have failed. The only solution that scientists can think of right now is to push the manual reset button — an idea that isn't exactly realistic.

"There’s nobody in outer space to push that reset button," Bill Nye told The Planetary Society, the non-profit behind the LightSail project.

LightSail is made up of a small satellite with a 344-square-foot solar sail attached. It launched on May 20th, carrying many researchers' dreams of solar propulsion with it. . . .


  1. Private industry can do it better, cheaper, and faster - yeah... right.

  2. To provide some extra wind for the sail, use Gamov's idea of some years ago of painting the sail with radium chloride, whose 800 year half life decay gives it's own propulsion, in addition to light.

    Theyy used to paint it on luminous watch dials.


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