At the 29th annual American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)/Utah State University (USU) Conference on Small Satellites, The Planetary Society’s citizen-funded LightSail spacecraft test mission (LightSail A) was named Mission of the Year.
Nearly ten years after its launch, the New Horizons spacecraft will reach its closest encounter with Pluto on July 14, 2015. NASA and the world science community will celebrate the landmark at the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) at Johns Hopkins University, as well as at “PlutoPalooza” events around the world.
The Planetary Society, the world’s largest non-profit space interest group, today declared the LightSail test mission a success. After 19 days in orbit, the CubeSat spacecraft deployed its Mylar® solar sails in space.
CubeSats have made low-cost space missions a reality for universities and research groups. However, these tiny satellites lack propulsion. LightSail will demonstrate the viability of solar sailing for CubeSats.
Planetary Deep Drill is the first drill of its kind. Honeybee intends to fulfill one of the biggest needs for subsurface planetary exploration: lightweight, portable drills that pack enough punch to probe deep beneath planetary surfaces.
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