After it was theorized by Carl Sagan, the LightSail was finally brought to life earlier this year with Bill Nye heading up the Solar Sail Project. After a successful launch and a communications blackout, the solar sail has finished its mission.
After 25 days in low-orbit, the Solar Sail has completed its initial set of tests and is preparing for re-entry into the atmosphere. After its primary objective was complete, the deployment of its solar sails, the craft took a selfie and transmitted it down to the control center. The image is shown above, clearly displays the solar sails fully deployed.
The team hoped to get a second picture from the camera located on the other side of the craft, however before this could happen though the craft began transmitting a continuous stream with no reason behind the actual content of the transmission. At this point, the craft also stopped responding to commands issued to it from the ground.
With the successful deployment of its sails, and the first tests showing a complete success, the SolarSail project is yet another step towards its goal of being a sustainable and realistic mode of transport within the solar system. A mode of transport that’s not only renewable but requires no fuel, making the craft lighter from the very start of its journey.