What do people think about LightSail? Here's what our experts have to say...

"Potentially more powerful technologies are being developed."

Pekka Janhunen, Finnish Meteorological Institute

'The solar sail is good as it works wherever there is sunlight. But it's not the only technology being worked on. The electric sail uses solar wind instead of sunlight to propel a spacecraft forward through space. It also has the potential to travel faster than the solar sail. '

Pekka Janhunen

Image: Pekka Janhunen

"Solar sails could help clean up space."

Chris Bridges, Surrey Space Centre

'We have lots of space junk currently floating in Earth's lower orbit which is travelling fast enough to damage satellites. Solar sails are a key technology to help with the space debris problem. In the future, a solar sail could be sent to attach onto dead satellites or rockets and safely steer them down into Earth's atmosphere where they'd burn up. '

Chris Bridges

Image: Chris Bridges

"Solar sails mark a new chapter in Solar System exploration. "

Osamu Mori, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

'The LightSail 1 and IKAROS solar sails have opened the door for the beginning of a new age of Solar System exploration. I have great admiration for the unyielding spirit of the LightSail team. They overcame launch difficulties and achieved solar sailing.'

Osamu Mori

Image: Osamu Mori

"Solar sails could help with transporting cargo. "

Jesper Larsen, Aalborg University

'Propulsion systems like solar sails will be a great addition to the range of satellite technologies available. They could help us carry large amounts of cargo, such as water, on various missions. It will be very exciting to follow the results of the upcoming LightSail 2 mission and see its performance in orbit. '

Jesper Larsen

Image: Jesper Larsen

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