LightSail 2 gets ready to make its debut in space


Artist’s concept of LightSail 2 above Earth. Image: The Planetary Society

Yesterday, a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket successfully launched NASA’s STP-2 mission from Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying with it a whole raft of technology demonstrations that will one day aid in smarter spacecraft design and help the agency’s efforts in getting to Mars.

Some of the more high profile projects included a Deep Space Atomic Clock that could change the way deep-space navigation is conducted, and a new propulsion system that runs on a high-performance and non-toxic spacecraft fuel called the Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM).

However, also stashed amongst NASA’s payloads was a small satellite built by Georgia Tech students, called Prox-1 and packed safely within that like a Russian nesting doll, is a citizen-funded project that originally sprang from the mind of Carl Sagan.

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Space X: Elon Musk shares staggering video that shows true size of rockets

Elon Musk has shared a video that helps visualize the sheer scale of SpaceX’s rockets, and the results are awe-inspiring. The CEO retweeted a video on Wednesday from YouTube channel Corridor Crew, which uses visual effects to show the size of the Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and BFR rockets in real-life situations.

The video, which uses 3D models produced by Reese Wilson, shows the sheer scale of the company’s rockets that it’s using to fulfil its space exploration ambitions. While the Falcon 9 has been sending satellites into space and the Falcon Heavy completed a test flight with the Tesla Roadster, it’s the upcoming BFR that will transport humans to Mars as soon as 2024. Musk described the video as “cool,” while astronomy writer Phil Plait wrote that it was “amazing. The SF/X are really really good. I’ve been to the SpaceX factory twice, and have seen the landing leg on the main floor and the booster outside. They’re WAY bigger than you’d think.”

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