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Here's our first look at LightSail 2, installed on SpaceX's Falcon Heavy Rocket



Jason Davis • June 19, 2019

See: Our first image of the Planetary Society's LightSail 2 spacecraft, all buttoned up and ready to go into orbit!

  Prox -1 installed on Falcon Heavy

SpaceX

Prox-1 installed on Falcon Heavy

Prox-1 with the Planetary Society's LightSail 2 spacecraft is installed here on the payload stack for the US Air Force's STP-2 mission. The LightSail 2 P-POD – a small box the size of a loaf of bread – towers over Prox-1.

  Prox-1 on Falcon Heavy (labeled)

SpaceX / The Planetary Society

Prox-1 installed on Falcon Heavy (labeled)

This image identifies the position of the Planetary Society's LightSail 2 spacecraft in Prox-1.

The golden suitcase-sized box you're looking at here is Prox-1 and firmly attached to the stack of spacecraft sitting on SpaceX's Falcon Heavy launch rocket. Above the Prox-1 protrudes the front door of a spring-loaded container called the P-POD. LightSail 2 is located in the P-POD. One week after the Falcon Heavy brings Prox-1 into space, the front door of the P-POD opens and releases LightSail 2.

Here are two pictures from the time when LightSail 2 was integrated into Prox-1 last year. Here is the P-POD with a red zipper that is still attached as a failover if the door pops up during transport:

  LightSail 2 P-POD Integration "class =" img840 "src =" https: // planetary.s3 .amazonaws.com / assets / images / spacecraft / 2018 / 20180319_ls2-integration3_f840.jpg

Bruce Betts / The Planetary Society

LightSail 2 P-POD Integration

LightSail 2 is included in the P-POD.

And here's a picture from just before installing LightSail 2. Notice the long spring in the P-POD:

  LightSail 2 P-POD integration "class =" img840 "src =" https: // planetary.s3.amazonaws.com/assets/images/spacecraft/2018/20180319_ls2-integration1_f840.jpg

Bruce Betts / The Planetary Society

LightSail 2 P-POD Integration

LightSail 2 is located next to the P-POD, which will carry it into space.

Yesterday, SpaceX and the Air Force released a large section of the entire payload stack. The stack contains 24 spaceships that are deployed in orbit as part of the US Air Force's STP-2 mission. In this picture Prox-1 is not visible. It is located on the back of the payload stack:

  STP-2 payload stack "class =" img840 "src =" https://planetary.s3.amazonaws.com/assets/images/spacecraft/2019/20190619_stp-2- payload_f840.jpg

SpaceX

STP-2 payload stack

This picture shows some of the 24 starships launching on the Air Force's STP-2 mission, which will also launch LightSail 2 into orbit. LightSail 2 and its carrier spaceship Prox-1 are not seen in this picture.

The launch of Falcon Heavy and LightSail 2 is currently scheduled for June 24, 2019 () until today's static fire erupts Test . For more information, visit our LightSail 2 mission page and see "What to expect when LightSail 2 launches into space."

  Bill Nye and others "src =" https://planetary.s3.amazonaws.com/assets/images/thumbnail/card-bill-people.jpg

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