Bill Nye Visits Lab For LightSail Testing

The PolySat/CubeSat lab was visited by a special guest this week. Bill Nye, CEO of the Planetary Society, stopped by Cal Poly to meet with members of the LightSail CubeSat team. LightSail, a 3U CubeSat sponsored by the member-funded organization, has the mission to deploy a 32 square meter solar sail while in orbit. The goal of the visit was to view a deployment test of the solar sail. Unfortunately there were issues that have now pushed back the deployment test to a later date. In addition to hosting the deployment test, the Cal Poly team will be providing environmental testing support in preparation for launch, and operations through the Earth Station after launch. LightSail-A is planned for launch in 2015 and will be used to prove out the design, however solar sailing won’t be attempted until LightSail-B is launched, currently planned for April 2016 on the SpaceX Falcon Heavy.