New Solar Spacecraft Spreads Its Wings
It hasn’t been smooth sailing. Ground control lost contact with the Carl Sagan-inspired LightSail spacecraft last week, and hopes faded when it failed to unfurl its basketball-court-sized sail on Sunday. But the Planetary Society, headed by Bill Nye (yes, the Science Guy), got its sails to deploy on the second attempt, moving a step closer to Sagan’s dream of space travel powered by sunlight. Next up: crowdsourcing another mission into higher orbit in 2016 to see whether Sagan’s baby really can fly.