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Fourth echelon

Planetary Society's LightSail has gone silent

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WASHINGTON, May 27 (UPI) -- The scientists managing the Planetary Society's LightSail are holding their breath as they wait for their experimental Cubesat to come back to life. A software glitch caused the small satellite to freeze up last week, and so far, attempts to reboot the device have failed.

LightSail is a small satellite that was launched last week in an effort to demonstrate the potential of solar sail-powered space travel. The toaster oven-sized craft is outfitted with a tightly furled sail made of a super-light metallised film called Mylar. If deployed, the sail will cover over 322 square feet, capturing and harnessing the energy of solar particles.


But right now, the sail's deployment is in doubt.



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