Founded in 1980, the Planetary Societybelieves that near-earth satellites can easily do without expensive fuel, and move around due to solar particles pushing a huge sail. To prove this, researchers recently sent a LightSail 2 apparatus into orbit, and successfully received health signals from it. Very soon, a sail the size of a boxing ring will be deployed, and people will be able to look at it from Earth with the naked eyes. You can follow the location of the device, in order to catch the moment of its flight over your region, through a special website.
It's called “LightSail 2 Mission Control”, anddisplays information about the device: the duration of its stay in orbit, the state of the sail, battery charge, internal temperature and speed of rotation. The location of the device is shown on the map with a blue diamond. Information is updated each time an artificial satellite communicates with a ground station.
How to see the Solar Sail LightSail 2?
Unlike its predecessor, launchedin 2015, the new LightSail 2 will perform more complex maneuvers and try to climb different orbits, and all this only with the help of solar energy. After about two weeks from the date of launch on June 24, that is, in the coming days, the device will open its sail of 50 square meters. It was then, perhaps, the satellite will be visible from the Earth - you just need to catch the moment of its location over your region, focusing on the performance of the site. Best of all, it will be visible at dusk, or at dawn.
LightSail 2 satellite location
The device can be seen for as long as30 days - all this time the sail will remain uncovered, and the researchers will carefully monitor its movement. If the sail can really move the device, it is an integral part of small satellites, cubsat. At the moment, they need an alternative to expensive fuel, which, in addition to its high price, has too much weight for such compact devices.
Recommended to read: How are the "Kubsat"?
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