Communication restored with LightSail spacecraft

Ethics Asylum

An innovative tiny satellite designed to test deployment of a solar sail has re-awakened eight days after communications with the spacecraft were lost.

The Planetary Society’s digital editor Jason Davis announced on Twitter last night that LightSail had sent two packets of data.

He wrote: “LIGHTSAIL CONTACT! Cal Poly received two beacon packets today during a pass at 5:21 EDT (21:21 UTC). Initial analysis shows reboot occurred.”

The LightSail satellite, a three-unit CubeSat which measures 30 cm by 10 cm by 10cm, was put into orbit on May 20 after hitching a ride aboard the United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket that lauched one of the U.S. Air Force’s secretive X-37B robotic spaceplanes.

The satellite is owned and operated by The Planetary Society, a non-profit space exploration advocacy group which has funded the mission through member donations and a crowd-funded campaign on Kickstarter.

After the successful launch, the CubeSat…

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