Sunday, 31 May 2015

Bill Nye’s LightSail spacecraft is back in touch with Earth after rebooting itself

After a tense few days, Bill Nye's sunbeam-powered spacecraft LightSail is back in touch with Earth. About a week after its launch on May 20th, LightSail lost the ability to send data to the crew because of a software glitch. Efforts to reboot the spacecraft remotely failed, so the engineers hoped LightSail would perform a "natural reboot," which would occur if the spacecraft collided with stray charged particles.
In a statement released yesterday through his company Planetary Group, Nye said that's exactly what happened:
Our LightSail called home! It’s alive! Our LightSail spacecraft has rebooted itself, just as our engineers predicted. Everyone is delighted. We were ready for three more weeks of anxiety. In this meantime, the team...
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