LightSail 2 solar sail is still soaring above Earth more than two years after launch

An experimental spacecraft testing solar sails as a means of cost-effective space propulsion that could power future missions to distant places is still riding the sunbeams in Earth’s orbit more than two and a half years after its launch.

The spacecraft, called LightSail 2, is a cubesat about the size of a loaf of bread but fitted with a solar sail the size of a boxing ring: It covers about 433 square feet (32 square meters). This sail captures incoming photons from the sun, just as a wind sail catches the moving air, to propel the spacecraft. 

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