27 May 2015
The planetary society launched a prototype lightsail last week, and it appears that a known defect may have got to them! The manufacturer advised that they may have a buffer problem about 2 days before they may have had a buffer problem! Although they continue to try and reset, they are now hoping for that classic IT excuse for crashed PC’s, Servers, Databases, Networks etc… “Your [xxxxxx] crashed because it was impacted by a stray space particle”. Turns out this really happens, and it happens so frequently to unshielded devices like cubesats that they expect it to occur within 3 weeks!
You can still try and listen out for them on: 437.435 MHz, AX.25, FSK, 9600, call sign KK6HIT.
Lots more info available at Lightsail Mission Control
And here is some possible viewing times over Sydney for the next week. Unfortunately the chances of seeing it at the moment are tiny! If the sail does unfold it is expected to be very bright.
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