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We are now just over 24 hours away from the beginning of the launch window for the third Falcon 9 Heavy from Kennedy Space Center, which among other payloads wlll carry The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 spacecraft. We'll talk about it here. smile.gif


GO LIGHTSAIL!!! GO TPS!!!
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Well, it made it into orbit & apparently sail deployment will occur in about a week.
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The spacecraft has successfully separated from its host Prox-1 and has downlinked. Full story and details of future events here.
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Panel (and panel-mounted camera) deployment occurred on Friday evening US Pacific time. Images and status update here.
atomoid
i remember the efforts to get this going in the 90s, its been such a long time coming, but finally here it is!
they put together a cool gif anim of the unfurling sails

images look much better than i expected, all raw images are here
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Truly a triumph for citizen science and the realization of a dream long held. Congratulations to the LightSail team!!! smile.gif
Explorer1
Lovely views! I still remember the disappointment with Cosmos 1; glad to see there are more reliable launchers these days!
Now to look forward to Lightsail being spotted from the ground...

Steve5304
QUOTE (Explorer1 @ Jul 25 2019, 03:37 AM) *
Lovely views! I still remember the disappointment with Cosmos 1; glad to see there are more reliable launchers these days!
Now to look forward to Lightsail being spotted from the ground...



Me also!!

I am more excited to see what sort of data they gather. They have speculated for hundreds of years about this sort of thing.


Bring on the data!!!
elakdawalla
QUOTE (atomoid @ Jul 24 2019, 03:08 PM) *
i remember the efforts to get this going in the 90s, its been such a long time coming, but finally here it is!
they put together a cool gif anim of the unfurling sails
images look much better than i expected, all raw images are here

Thanks, that gif is mine biggrin.gif

Please have fun with the image data! The pictures are a lot better than I expected, too. I'm curious to see creative approaches to dealing with the bizarre wide-angle camera distortion. My approach is simply to enlarge the original photo by a factor of 5 or so, then apply the Photoshop geometric correction filter at its maximum level multiple times, then downsize to 2x original resolution. I don't find that sharpening the resulting image helps much, but I suspect I'm just not picking the right set of parameters.
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