ISS-Above and Lightsail-Above

You may have already heard how Bill Nye The Science Guy is obsessed with his ISS-Above(s). We’re taking that obsession to the next level and at Bill’s request I created a special version of the ISS-Above code that will act as Mission Control for their LightSail project. This version of the system is of course called LightSail-Above. It was a special reward on their Kickstarter

Every ISS-Above customer who is also a Planetary Society Member will be able to have their ISS-Above also track the Lightsail when the “full” version launches in 2016.


In 2016, LightSail will be enclosed within Prox-1, a small satellite developed by the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) to autonomously inspect other spacecraft. Both satellites will be lifted into orbit by the Falcon Heavy, a new heavy-lift rocket built by private spaceflight company SpaceX.

LightSail and Prox-1 will be released into an orbit with an altitude of 720 kilometers (450 miles), high enough to escape most of the planet's atmospheric drag. Prox-1 will eject LightSail into open space. Later, it will rendezvous with LightSail and inspect it. When LightSail unfurls its solar sails, Prox-1 will be nearby to capture images of the big moment.