The spacecraft, previously described by Carl Sagan, described as a solar sailboat, will be launched into orbit this week.
On Monday night, SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will send 24 satellites into orbit. In the project called Space Test Program-2 mission, SpaceX rocket will leave satellites in three different layers of atmosphere. The most striking of these satellites is the sun sailboat which will be released at 2 levels.
LightSail 2 will continue to work for a week to sit in orbit 720 kilometers above the ground. When the satellite sits in orbit, it will leave its protective capsule and open the 4-meter-wide, 5.6-meter-long solar sail. Researchers have explained that the emergence of this model depends on the accumulation of years, and is based on ideas from Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray and Lou Priedman.
Carl Sagan directed people to science on television in the 1970s, when space races peaked. Sagan was one of the founders of The Planetary Society in 1980, supporting space exploration and producing projects for these tasks.
The first project in the 1990s focused on a solar sailboat called Cosmos I. Unfortunately, the vehicle never reached space, after being launched with a Volna rocket in 2005, the rocket had fallen and disappeared due to failure in the first stage.
The total surface area of the new vehicle will be 32 square meters. If everything goes well, the vehicle will begin to glide through space in two weeks. In order to be able to say that the vehicle is running successfully, it must take at least 1 month and adjust the trajectory of LightSail 2.
Solar sailboats will allow us to make explorations in space cheaper and easier in the future. These tools, which follow photons and trace the light from the stars, can play an important role in human space travel.