Fix to Malfunctioning Lucy Probe Good Enough to Complete Asteroid Mission, NASA Says

Fix to Malfunctioning Lucy Probe Good Enough to Complete Asteroid Mission, NASA Says

Lucy is equipped with a pair of 22-feet-wide solar arrays on either side.Photo: NASA Just a few hours into its 12-year journey to Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids, the Lucy spacecraft ran into a problem. One of its solar arrays refused to fully open and mission controllers have been working on the problem ever since. There’s good … Read more

LightSail 2 Mission Poised to Burn Up in Earth’s Atmosphere

LightSail 2 Mission Poised to Burn Up in Earth's Atmosphere

LightSail 2 spacecraft captured this image on June 11, 2022, which shows Madagascar and a portion of Mozambique.Image: The Planetary Society For the past three years, a tiny loaf-of-bread-sized spacecraft with gigantic wings has been sailing on sunbeams in low Earth orbit. LightSail 2 has far exceeded its life expectancy and proven that solar sails … Read more

NASA Moves Ahead With Wild Solar Sail Concept

NASA Moves Ahead With Wild Solar Sail Concept

Artist’s conception of the diffractive lightsail. The rainbow-like patterns would be similar to how CDs exhibit similar patterns when held under a light. Drawing: mackenzi martin A project to develop diffractive solar sails has advanced to the third and final phase of NASA’s advanced concepts program. The team behind the project now has two years … Read more