May 18, 2016

Contact: Amy Hewes

MEDIA ADVISORY: Cal Poly and The Planetary Society Invite Press to LightSail™ 2 Day in the Life Test

Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye to attend as solar sail spacecraft undergoes key testing in preparation for flight

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The press is invited to a Q & A with The Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye (The Science Guy), Cal Poly CubeSat founder Jordi Puig-Suari, and other key LightSail™ program personnel. Additional opportunities include conducting interviews; and viewing, photographing and videotaping LightSail testing. 

The Planetary Society attendees include:
- Bill Nye (The Science Guy), CEO
- Bruce Betts, director of science and technology; program manager, LightSail
- Jason Davis, digital editor; LightSail embedded journalist

Georgia Institute of Technology:
- Dave Spencer, project manager, LightSail 2

Cal Poly attendees include:
- Jordi Puig-Suari, CubeSat founder
- John Bellardo, CubeSat director
- Justin Foley, CubeSat manager

Building on the 2015 success of LightSail 1, The Planetary Society is collaborating with Cal Poly’s CubeSat program to prepare for the LightSail™ 2 mission, with the objective to demonstrate controlled solar sailing. The Day in the Life tests will occur in Cal Poly’s cleanroom laboratory environment and the high bay in the Bonderson Projects Center with the objectives to test the spacecraft’s readiness to perform in space. The tests will culminate with a full-scale deployment of the spacecraft's 32-square-meter sails. Media will be able to watch the sail deployment.

May 23, test date; May 24, backup date
Note: Like all spacecraft tests, precise timing for the LightSail 2 Day in the Life test is subject to change.

May 23
9:45 a.m.:
Q&A at Bonderson Projects Center (Building 197)

Morning to mid-afternoon:
Phase 1 Testing: Solar panel and antenna deployment testing at Advanced Technology Labs (Building 007)

Late afternoon to evening:
Phase 2 Testing: Solar sail deployment test at Bonderson Projects Center (Building 197)
Cal Poly: specific building locations can be found on this Google Map.
Media Room: Room 104 in Bonderson with guest Wi-Fi access. 

ONSITE: Interviews, test viewing, photo and video opportunities. Capacity is limited.

REMOTE: Interviews, remote viewing of test results (via Jason Davis’ blog coverage), images and videos will be provided by The Planetary Society for media usage.
LightSail Press Room:
Jason Davis’ Blog:
LightSail Fact Sheet:

Meet LightSail™ 2, The Planetary Society’s new solar sailing CubeSat:
LightSail (1) Sails Through Day in the Life Test:

About The Planetary Society

The Planetary Society has inspired millions of people to explore other worlds and seek other life. With the mission to empower the world's citizens to advance space science and exploration, its international membership makes the non-governmental Planetary Society the largest space interest group in the world. Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray and Louis Friedman founded the Planetary Society in 1980. Bill Nye, a longtime member of the Planetary Society's Board, serves as CEO.

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