After the month has passed, the craft will spend another year gradually deorbiting.

It’s a rare achievement in spaceflight, and notable when LightSail relied partly on crowdfunding to make their project a reality. What’s important, though, is what comes next. The Society intends to share data with others so they can implement or refine plans for solar sailing in their own vehicles, such as NASA’s asteroid-bound NEA Scout cubesat. You could see a wave of mini satellites that only need solar nudges to adjust their positions, and possibly larger spacecraft beyond that.

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