The LightSail 2 spacecraft developed by Planetary Society is now operational, without any issues in orbit, while the mission team at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in California follows procedures to ensure the LightSail 2 spacecraft is ready for sail deployment.


LightSail 2’s deployment date has been set for Sunday, July 21st. (Image Credit: The Planetary Society)

After a successful launch on July 2nd, the team was able to establish two-way communications with the spacecraft, and they started going through a 73-step checklist to ensure all systems are functioning as expected and to perform tests. The spacecraft deployment date was set for Sunday, July 21st.


Results from LightSail 2 telemetry indicates the major systems are fully functional, as expected. LightSail 2’s tumble rate is near zero, which means it was able to use its electromagnetic torque rods to stabilize itself after being ejected from Prox-1.


Adjustments to LightSail 2’s internal clock were also made by the mission control team, who also uplinked data for the CubeSat, helping it to locate LightSail’s orbital position, which is needed for solar sailing, Data from LightSail 2 was also sent to ground stations at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Georgia Tech, and Purdue University. The SatNOGS worldwide ground station network has also been keeping track of LightSail and has captured additional telemetric data.


Up next, the spacecraft will capture images to ensure all cameras are working as expected, exercising the momentum wheel in preparation for solar sailing, and deploying its dual-sided solar panels.



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