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Thread: Solar sails, etc.

  1. #31
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    The little one has called home after 8 days. So happy days are back again at the Planetary Society. Two reports below. 1st one on the call back and the next one talking about the sail deployment coming up this Wednesday 3ed June.

    http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason...ones-home.html

    The Planetary Society’s LightSail test spacecraft reported for duty this afternoon, heralding the end of an uneasy silence caused by a suspected software glitch. At 5:21 p.m. EDT (21:21 UTC), an automated radio chirp was received and decoded at the spacecraft's Cal Poly San Luis Obispo ground station. Another came in eight minutes later at 5:29 p.m. The real-time clock on board the spacecraft, which does not reset after a software reboot, read 908,125 seconds—approximately ten-and-a-half days since LightSail’s May 20 launch.
    http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason...ay-deploy.html

    Update, June 1: Tomorrow's solar sail deployment has been rescheduled to Wednesday to allow for additional image capture and downlink testing. A timeline will be posted as soon as it is confirmed.

    LightSail is almost ready for its moment in the sun.

    This afternoon, mission managers gave the go-ahead for a manual solar sail deployment as early as Tuesday, June 2 at 11:44 a.m. EDT (15:44 UTC), providing the spacecraft completes an arduous set of Monday preparations. Since waking up Saturday after eight days of silence, the spacecraft has been busy sending telemetry back to Earth, snapping test images and preparing itself for sail deployment.

  2. #32
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    Three cheers for cosmic ray induced reboots!

  3. #33
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    Phew! Let's hope for smooth sailing from here on out!

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    Phew! Let's hope for smooth sailing from here on out!
    Hahaha! I see what you did there!

    Agreed!

    CJSF
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    He knows who's guilty 'fore there's even a crime

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    Davy, Davy Crockett
    There's more than we were taught"

    -They Might Be Giants, "The Ballad Of Davy Crockett (In Outer Space)"


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  5. #35
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    It has gone silent for the 2nd time

    http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason...ent-again.html

    The LightSail test spacecraft has fallen silent for a second time, less than a day after completing what appeared to be a successful solar panel deployment. Mission managers believe the CubeSat's batteries are in a safe mode-like condition designed to protect the electronics until power levels are safe for operations.

    In an e-mail summary sent this afternoon, mission manager David Spencer said before contact was lost, LightSail’s batteries did not appear to be drawing current from the solar arrays; nor were they properly shunting power to the spacecraft’s subsystems.

    "Following solar panel deployment," he wrote, "it was noticed that all of the battery cells were drawing near zero current. This indicated that the batteries were likely in a fault condition stemming from the solar panel deployment event."

  6. #36
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    Nuts. Things where looking up for a while.


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  7. #37
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    Dangit!

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    Dangit!
    If Bill Nye were up there, he could fix it.

  9. #39
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    It's back again. 7/8 batteries charging. Unfurl Sunday 2:02pm EDT -- quick before it glitches again.
    http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason...nd-time-1.html
    0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 ...
    Skepticism enables us to distinguish fancy from fact, to test our speculations. --Carl Sagan

  10. #40
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    Hope they do the full deployment.

  11. #41
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    I hope they are able to collect enough data to identify and prevent these issues in the future. And I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a sail unfurling this afternoon


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  12. #42
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    Drat!
    http://mashable.com/2015/06/07/bill-...il-spacecraft/

    This was released as a cubesat from the X-37--so I'm thinking it was packed perhaps a bit too tightly.

    Hoping for Sunjammer to get it right: http://www.cosmicarchive.com/t-About-Sunjammer.aspx

    The wiki has it as cancelled but here there is a call for a 2017 launch:
    http://www.cosmicarchive.com/t-Launch-Schedule.aspx
    Last edited by publiusr; 2015-Jun-07 at 07:10 PM.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post

    Update: Second attempt was a success.

    Lightsail just takes two tries at every phase.
    0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 ...
    Skepticism enables us to distinguish fancy from fact, to test our speculations. --Carl Sagan

  14. #44
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    Planetary Society: LightSail Test Mission Declared Success; First Image Complete
    LightSail captured this image of its deployed solar sails in Earth orbit on June 8, 2015.
    ...
    it is believed the second photograph may include a view of Earth.

  15. #45
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    Never got the second photo:

    LightSail Test Mission Declared Success: LightSail Test Mission Ends with Fiery Reentry
    A complete image of the spacecraft’s solar sails was downloaded on June 9, confirming the mission’s primary objective of sail deployment had been met. But before engineers could get a picture from the opposite-side cameras, LightSail’s radio began transmitting a continuous, nonsensical signal, and the spacecraft stopped responding to commands.

  16. #46
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    Another solar sail effort is being readied for a July departure. It is called the DeorbitSail project and led by Surrey Space Centre at the University of Surrey in Guildford, United Kingdom. If you have not guessed it by now, DeorbitSail is a small satellite mission that will launch and deploy a roughly 13 foot by 13 foot (four-by-four-meters), four-quadrant sail to showcase rapid deorbiting.

    http://www.leonarddavid.com/deorbits...y-for-sendoff/

    Following in the wake of the Planetary Society’s LightSail-A mission, another solar sail effort is being readied for a July departure.

    Boxed up and delivered to India last month, the DeorbitSail mission is among a number of payloads to be rocketed into space from the Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, India.

    The DeorbitSail project is a collaboration to build a 3 unit (3U) CubeSat-sized satellite with a deployable sail that will demonstrate rapid deorbiting.

  17. #47
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    I'd kinda like to see one attached to a tether---kite-sail

  18. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    Another solar sail effort is being readied for a July departure. It is called the DeorbitSail project and led by Surrey Space Centre at the University of Surrey in Guildford, United Kingdom. If you have not guessed it by now, DeorbitSail is a small satellite mission that will launch and deploy a roughly 13 foot by 13 foot (four-by-four-meters), four-quadrant sail to showcase rapid deorbiting.

    http://www.leonarddavid.com/deorbits...y-for-sendoff/
    SpaceX sent it up. Now LightSail 2 has called home.

    http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason...ghtsail-2.html

    The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 spacecraft sprung loose from its Prox-1 carrier vehicle as planned today, and sent its first signals back to mission control at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in California.

    The CubeSat, about the size of a loaf of bread, was scheduled to leave Prox-1 precisely 7 days after both spacecraft successfully flew to orbit aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. Following deployment from its spring-loaded enclosure known as a P-POD, LightSail 2 deployed its radio antenna and began transmitting health and status data, as well as a morse code beacon indicating its call sign. The mission team received LightSail 2's first signals on 2 July at 01:34 PDT (08:34 UTC), as the spacecraft passed over Cal Poly.
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  19. #49
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    "Here are the First Pictures of Earth from LightSail 2"

    http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason...irst-pics.html

    The first pictures from The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 mission are on the ground!

    Flight controllers successfully deployed the CubeSat's dual-sided solar panels Friday evening, as it flew south of mission control at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in California. Pictures taken moments later from the spacecraft’s solar panel-mounted cameras show a crescent Earth, as LightSail 2 heads into orbital sunset.
    I am because we are
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  20. #50
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    "LightSail 2 Team to Conduct More Testing before Sail Deployment"

    http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason...e-testing.html

    The LightSail 2 mission team has delayed deployment of the spacecraft’s solar sail until at least 21 July 2019 to conduct additional attitude control system testing and potentially update the spacecraft’s flight software. LightSail 2 remains stable and healthy in orbit, and returned another picture to mission control at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in California.
    I am because we are
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  21. #51
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    "LightSail 2 Team Continues Tweaks and Tests for Sail Deployment"

    http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason...aks-tests.html

    The LightSail 2 mission team is continuing to tweak and test the spacecraft in preparation for solar sail deployment, which is scheduled for no earlier than 21 July 2019. Flight controllers successfully uploaded a software patch that refined the operation of the spacecraft's electromagnetic torque rods, which are responsible for keeping LightSail 2 stable as it circles the Earth. Spare bandwidth during ground station passes has also allowed for the downlink of 2 new high-resolution images.
    I am because we are
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  22. #52
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    SpaceX's super heavy/SLS could deploy a sail weighing many tons that could open up to several square kilometers--if enough of the material can be made--now you would have something.

  23. #53
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    "LightSail 2 Successfully Deploys Solar Sail"

    http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason...loys-sail.html

    The Planetary Society’s LightSail 2 spacecraft has successfully deployed the large, aluminized Mylar sail it will use to raise its orbit solely with sunlight.

    Flight controllers at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in California commanded the spacecraft to deploy its solar sails yesterday at about 11:47 PDT (18:47 UTC). Images captured during the deployment sequence and downloaded today show the 32-square-meter sail, which is about the size of a boxing ring, deploying as the spacecraft flew south of the continental United States.
    I am because we are
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  24. #54
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    LightSail 2 declared a success :clap

    https://www.france24.com/en/20190801...ed-lightsail-2

    [QUOTE]Mission accomplished: the Planetary Society announced Wednesday that its LightSail 2 spacecraft, which was launched last month, had successfully raised its orbit using only the power of photons from the Sun.

    The team behind the $7 million crowd-funded venture said they had demonstrated a proof of concept for a new form of propulsion that could one day transform deep space exploration by doing away with the need for expensive rockets and fuel.

    "In the past four days the spacecraft has raised its apogee, or orbital high point, by about 1.7 kilometers (one mile) attributable to solar sailing," said Bruce Betts, LightSail 2 program manager.[QUOTE]
    I am because we are
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  25. #55
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    Will light sails that can center on a laser launcher make it to Alpha Centauri in just decades?

    https://www.space.com/laser-sail-cen...-starshot.html
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  26. #56
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    There’s not much mention of the brakes!
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
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  27. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    There’s not much mention of the brakes!
    We just have to hope that the Centauri have a laser that they can slow it down with.


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  28. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    There’s not much mention of the brakes!
    There's some proposals to separate the sail into a large and small reflector, and bounce the laser back into the small sail to slow the payload. The larger section gets sent off to the void.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  29. #59
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    "China's first solar sail verifies key technologies in orbit"

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/201..._138667092.htm

    The "SIASAIL-I" solar sail, developed by the Shenyang Institute of Automation (SIA) under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has successfully verified many key technologies in orbit.

    The solar sail is a spacecraft powered by the reflected light pressure of the sun on the membrane. It does not consume additional chemical fuel and working medium during navigation, and has the characteristics of small mass, large collection-expansion ratio, low cost, low power consumption and long-range.

    The solar sail is considered to be very likely to reach outside the solar system and can be applied to many fields, including asteroid detection, geomagnetic storm monitoring, solar polar exploration and space debris removal.
    I am because we are
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  30. #60
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    "Here's What We've Learned So Far from LightSail 2"

    https://www.planetary.org/blogs/jaso...o-far-ls2.html

    High above Earth, The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 spacecraft is still sailing on sunbeams. During the 5 months since LightSail 2 deployed its solar sail on 23 July 2019, the spacecraft has continued to demonstrate the first controlled solar-sailing flight in Earth orbit.

    The LightSail 2 team is releasing a paper today that describes new results from the mission. Purdue University’s Justin Mansell is also presenting the results at the 30th Space Flight Mechanics Meeting in Orlando, Florida. The paper recaps mission events through late November, discusses the performance of the solar sail and attitude control system, and describes how the spacecraft's orbit has changed.
    I am because we are
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