LightSail 2 Mission Control

LightSail 2 Mission Control

Learn how our members and community are changing the worlds.

Our citizen-funded spacecraft successfully demonstrated solar sailing for CubeSats.

Arriving soon: the United States’ first asteroid sample return mission.

Membership programs for explorers of all ages.

Get updates and weekly tools to learn, share, and advocate for space exploration.

Volunteer as a space advocate.

Accelerate progress in our three core enterprises — Explore Worlds, Find Life, and Defend Earth. You can support the entire fund, or designate a core enterprise of your choice.

Know the cosmos and our place within it.

Empowering the world's citizens to advance space science and exploration.


LightSail 2 completed its mission on November 17, 2022

Displaying last data received on  UTC

svg{fill:#fff} days hrs

Elapsed Mission Time

svg{fill:#fff} deployed

Sail Status

svg{fill:#fff} volts

Battery Charge (Max 4.2V)


Internal temperature

svg{fill:#fff} x y z

Rotation Rates (deg/sec)


Attitude control mode

Powered by

This chart shows LightSail 2’s orbit apogee and perigee as reported by since 8 July 2019. Sail deployment occurred on 23 July 2019. The entire dataset can be downloaded here.

For more details, download LightSail 2's beacon structure

LightSail 2 completes mission with atmospheric reentry
The three-and-a-half-year solar sailing mission showed LightSail 2 could change its orbit with sunlight alone.

LightSail 2 is about to burn up
After 3.5 years, 18,000 orbits of the Earth, and 8 million kilometers (5 million miles) traveled, The Planetary Society’s successful LightSail 2 solar sail spacecraft will burn up as it reenters the Earth’s atmosphere in the next few days.

LightSail 2 getting lower as it completes third year in space
An update on The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 mission, which launched in 2015.

LightSail 2 sails into Smithsonian
The prestigious Washington, D.C. institution will display two models of LightSail 2, which is continuing to demonstrate flight by light in Earth orbit.

The LightSail 2 latest: mission updates, pictures and more
Almost 30 months after liftoff, the mission continues to help prepare for the next generation of solar sail missions.

LightSail 2 completes second year in space
Two years after launch, The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 spacecraft is still solar sailing and paving the way for future missions.

NASA Solar Sails Build on LightSail 2
NEA Scout will visit a near-Earth asteroid and Solar Cruiser will test the largest solar sail yet.

LightSail 2 Enters Extended Mission Phase
One year after launch, The Planetary Society’s solar sail spacecraft is embarking on an extended mission dedicated to further advancing solar sailing technology.

Ten New Pictures from LightSail 2
Images from around the globe, plus some night pictures and the spacecraft's solar panels.

Here's What We've Learned So Far from LightSail 2
A new paper recaps mission events, discusses solar sail performance, and describes how the spacecraft's orbit has changed.

“I Talk to It Every Day”: Students are Vital Members of LightSail 2 Team
More than 50,000 people supported LightSail 2. But only one person can talk to the spacecraft at a time, and it's often a student.

Bill Nye, Planetary Society Staff Listen to LightSail 2 Signal
When LightSail 2 recently flew south of The Planetary Society's headquarters, CEO Bill Nye and other staff members stepped outside to listen.

Calling All Image Processors: Help Us Create a Top-Down View of LightSail 2
We've got 2 fish-eye pictures of the spacecraft's solar sail from opposite cameras, and we're hoping they can be combined.

LightSail 2 Marks 1 Month of Solar Sailing
LightSail 2's orbital high point around the Earth has raised by 7.2 kilometers, without any conventional fuel.

How to See LightSail 2 in the Night Sky
If your latitude is within 42 degrees of the equator, there's a chance you may be able to spot LightSail 2's reflective solar sail.

LightSail 2 Nears 2 Weeks of Solar Sailing
The high point of the spacecraft's orbit around the Earth on Monday was 729 kilometers, an increase of 3.2 kilometers since sail deployment.

LightSail 2 Spacecraft Successfully Demonstrates Flight by Light
In the past 4 days, the spacecraft has raised its orbital high point, or apogee, by about 2 kilometers.

LightSail 2 Successfully Deploys Solar Sail
Images from The Planetary Society's spacecraft confirm the solar sails deployed on 23 July 2019 at 11:47 PDT (18:47 UTC).

Live Coverage: LightSail 2 Sail Deployment
Visit for video and audio from mission control, located at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in California.

LightSail 2 Sail Deployment Scheduled for Tuesday
The target ground station pass for deployment starts 23 July 2019 at roughly 11:22 PDT (18:22 UTC).

LightSail 2 Team Continues Tweaks and Tests for Sail Deployment
Spare bandwidth during ground station passes has allowed flight controllers to downlink 2 new high-resolution images.

LightSail 2 Team to Conduct More Testing before Sail Deployment
Sail deployment is now scheduled for no earlier than 21 July 2019.

Here are the First Pictures of Earth from LightSail 2
Pictures taken by the spacecraft's cameras Friday evening show a crescent Earth, as LightSail 2 heads into orbital sunset.

See the Latest Data from LightSail 2 on Our New Mission Control Dashboard
Would you like to see the latest data from The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 spacecraft—possibly before flight controllers have even seen it? Now you can!

LightSail 2 Healthy as Mission Team Continues Spacecraft Checkouts
The mission team is working through a 73-step checklist to check out the spacecraft’s systems and perform various tests.

First Contact! LightSail 2 Phones Home to Mission Control
The mission team received LightSail 2's first signals on 2 July at 01:34 PDT (08:34 UTC), as the spacecraft passed over Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in California.

LightSail 2 Has Launched!
The Planetary Society's solar sail CubeSat lifted off from Kennedy Space Center, Florida on 25 June at 02:30 EDT (06:30 UTC).

When you become a member, you join our mission to increase discoveries in our solar system and beyond, elevate the search for life outside our planet, and decrease the risk of Earth being hit by an asteroid.

Your role in space exploration starts now.

Sign up for updates, weekly tools, and exclusive opportunities to support space exploration.

You may opt out any time. View our Privacy Policy.

You are here: Home > LightSail 2 Mission Control

Empowering the world's citizens to advance space science and exploration.

Account CenterContact UsPrivacy Policy

Give with confidence. The Planetary Society is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

© 2023 The Planetary Society. All rights reserved.
Cookie Declaration

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.