Space will always be the final frontier, now a spacecraft called The LightSail is joining in on the exploration of space with its first test flight scheduled to take place on May 20th. The solar powered space sail is the first one of its kind, but the project needs a lot of money before it can complete the first mission, which is currently scheduled for 2016.
The LightSail was developed by famous late cosmologist Carl Sagan who envisioned a spacecraft that is solely propelled by radiation from the sun. Bill Nye, along with The Planetary Society, are dedicated to seeing Sagan’s invention come to life, which is why they have started a Kickstarter campaign to raise the $1.2 million that is needed to send the spacecraft on its first mission. The money raised will go towards the construction, testing, and deployment of LightSail. Those who donate are eligiable for posters and signed paraphernalia.
Nye is the head of The Planetary Society, a non-profit organization who will be building their own version of the SpaceSail. If successful, Beneful says the small craft will be sent into orbit, by a spaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, with its destination being 450 miles above the surface of the earth.