[UPDATE] After a few days of silence, LightSail returned to contact

    The missing satellite got in touch after 8 days of silence on May 30 at 21:21 UTC (May 31 at 12:21 Moscow time). Space satellite LightSail freezes due to software bug developers. It was not possible to remotely reboot the system and the control group hoped for an accidental reboot of the system due to cosmic rays in the next 3-6 weeks, which happened much earlier.

    At 21:21 UTC and then at 21:29 UTC, telemetry was received at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo ground station , on the West Coast of the United States.

    Georgia Tech Professor David Spencer, head of the Lightsail mission, said the reboot occurred last day according to the internal beacon timers. He also said that there is no way to reliably track and receive satellite telemetry. The parameters of the satellite’s orbit are not known exactly because 10 satellites launched on Atlas Vmoving in orbit in two groups. When the first signal was received, both groups were in the reception area of ​​the ground station. 8 minutes later, the received signal could only be from the last group. The control group refines the parameters of the Lightsail orbit also by the Doppler shift of the received frequency of the radio signal.

    The obtained telemetry showed that the satellite's rotation frequency increased from -7, -0.1 and -0.3 degrees per second along the X, Y, Z axes to 10.8, -7.3 and 2.9 for an unknown reason.


    Next time, the satellite will pass in the reception area of ​​the Georgia Tech ground station at 9:30 UTC (12:30 Moscow time). At the moment, testing of the patch continues to eliminate a software error that caused the satellite system to freeze. If the development of the patch is delayed, then the satellite system will be rebooted to avoid its freezing. The management team wants to unveil the solar sail as soon as possible, discussion of further actions continues. In particular, how the speed of rotation will affect the disclosure of the sail (“sail deployment is likely to be a wild ride”).

    [UPDATE] Opening of solar panels on Wednesday 03.06.2015, opening of the sail on Friday.

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