Invoice Nye goes to Kickstarter to fund Sagan’s photo voltaic-powered spacecraft

Bill Nye goes to Kickstarter to fund Sagan's solar-powered spacecraft

The LightSail is blasting off to area (together with the X37B drone) for a check flight on Might twentieth, however the venture nonetheless wants much more cash for its first main mission in 2016. To be exact, Invoice Nye and The Planetary Society nonetheless want a hefty $1.2 million, a part of which they’re now making an attempt to boost by way of Kickstarter. The staff set a extra reasonable $200,000 aim, however they do have stretch objectives up till $1 million, which can cowl the development, testing and deployment of the ultimate model, in addition to LightSail’s operations in area for a number of months. Clearly, you’ll be able to’t get considered one of photo voltaic-powered spacecraft as a reward for backing the undertaking, so you will should make do with posters, jackets and signed paraphernalia.

LightSail was initially conceptualized by Carl Sagan as a “photo voltaic sailer,” a spacecraft that makes use of the solar’s radiation for propulsion. The Planetary Society, a non-revenue org headed by Invoice Nye, is trying to make its personal model — the present mannequin is a CubeSat no greater than a breadbox with 4 sails. If the staff manages to boost sufficient cash, LightSail might be despatched to orbit (at an altitude of 447 miles) aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket in 2016.

[Image credit: Josh Spradling / The Planetary Society]

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