Solar sailing

Roamy here.  There were a lot of happy people at work when Nanosail-D, launched on November 19, finally phoned home.  It was supposed to have deployed from the FASTSAT a week after launch but, for reasons unknown, didn’t until January 17.  It has sent back telemetry that it successfully deployed.

You can get an idea just how small and light Nanosail-D is in this deployment test movie.  The whole thing weighs less than 9 lbs.  The film has to be very tough – I had the chance to work on both the film and some ripstop ideas.

You can see when Nanosail-D is flying overhead using this satellite tracker.  If you are an amateur photographer or astronomer, there is even a photo contest for pics of the sail in orbit, so you might try winning $500.

UPDATE: I couldn’t get Roamy’s movie link to work, so watch this: