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Unlimited free energy from the sun will provide CubeSat propulsion and revolutionize access to space for low-cost citizen projects.
Unlimited free energy from the sun will provide CubeSat propulsion and revolutionize access to space for low-cost citizen projects.
23,331 backers pledged $1,241,615 to help bring this project to life.

We are LightSail

Posted by Bill Nye, CEO, The Planetary Society (Creator)

This is it! Our final day for our Kickstarter campaign

Dear Planetary Explorers - 

"...we are LightSail." This quote posted by one of our backers yesterday really struck me as I think about how this community has grown-up with this year's test flight of our prototype, LightSail-A. It was a risk we took to share this process so publicly, but it was absolutely the right choice to make. We all learned together, and most importantly, we learned from YOU. When things went haywire, members of our backer community messaged and commented ideas, some of which were sent on to the mission team for consideration. Others, such as the amateur astronomy and radio communities jumped in to get us photos, video and download data packets. This was so valuable that we will now create a part-time position for next year's launch to help us activate these communities even more and involve them in our mission plan. 

But, of course, that's what democratizing space is all about, and that's what the Planetary Society is all about—empowering the world's citizens to advance space science and exploration. Through projects like LightSail, we will reduce the cost and increase the access to planetary exploration and, in doing so, to learn more about the cosmos and our place within it. 

This campaign has far exceeded our expectations, and we are now within reach of our final stretch goal of $1.24 million. We are less than $100,000 away from funding some key upgrades to the project to ensure mission success in 2016. I think that we have the momentum we need. We will need it to be a big day, but with over 21,500 backers and more being added by the minute, we can do this! 

So, if you have been on the fence about the reward you've chosen and are considering something else—perhaps just a little bit higher?—or thinking about an add-on, then this is definitely your day to make that choice. We've done our best to have interesting options, many of them available as a direct result of backer requests. If everyone increased their pledge by as little as $5, we would make it. 

Onward... to the finish!  

Turner Hunt, A. Lee, and 93 more people like this update.


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    1. Greg Krezos on

      Light Sail on Heavy Duty.
      Glad to be here!

    2. Missing avatar

      Shayne Unger

      It will be an honour to tell my children, and my children's children that our family has a place in space.

      Our future is out there and I'm proud to be a part of it!

    3. Guy Raz on

      I began my Planetary Society membership in 1991, but my interest in space began when I saw Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon when I was 3 years old. Since then I've won first place at science fairs, top grades in high school matriculation papers and college projects - all involving robotic space exploration and the manned space program, with mentors from NASA and Rockwell International - the principal contractor for the Space Shuttle at the time. I was present at the Voyager Neptune Flyby in 1989, watching Dr. Ed Stone provide running commentary on the first false-color images received by JPL. As a mechanical engineer, I even had a chance to work for 2 years on the Mars Rover Program's Sample Return Mission as an employee of a subcontractor to Jet Propulsion Labs in 1997. I already pledged, but I wanted to share my story. This will not be the first time part of me has gone into space, but it will be the first time I own a piece of it. :) Godspeed and good luck!

    4. Rick Stanics on

      Upped my pledge by almost double. Not quite, but close. There are many things going on in space to be excited about, but none as intimate and thrilling as LightSail, for me, for us. You've given all of us a real way to feel like active members in the future. Thank you!

    5. Missing avatar

      Francisco Magana on

      I just pledged for the first time but pledged what I could without having to cut back on something else. I really hope this project meets its goal. It is a fantastic idea and I regret not having known about it till today.

    6. Stephen Latz on

      I tried to increase my pledge by buying the next tier up but it kept saying to get this reward you would have to spend an extra amount due to postage, I'm in Australia. The site listed the next tier, so I pledged that and got the same message and again the same thing. I got annoyed enough to just close the site and do something else.
      However I was able to double my pledge this morning for no extra reward which is fine as the goal of seeing this happen is the real reward, but not everyone might feel that way which may be losing potential donations.

    7. Robert Mills

      Backed for the science of it all, at least this way I can "go" into space

    8. Arsonor

      Jean, you may have to create a separate Kickstarter account for your husband.

    9. Missing avatar

      Matt Smith

      @Jean -- Because of Kickstarter's limitations the best way to accomplish what you desire is to create a second Kickstarter account and pledge for the additional reward using your husband's name.

    10. Missing avatar

      Aaron Mulder

      I looked through the other rewards again, and I can't say that anything grabbed me up to the "out of my league" launch party level. So I just put in an extra $45. Here's hoping the rest of you will put in a little extra too!

    11. Mohammad Shaban on

      Just increased my pledge. Hopefully, we will make it! Go LightSail!

    12. Missing avatar

      Jean Brocklebank on

      I would like to double my original pledge by choosing another at the same amount, but I want to do it in my husband's name, so it will go on LightSail also. How do I do that, since our credit card is in my name?

    13. Adam Taylor on

      I love what the Planetary Society is doing here. We can't wait for competing governments to initiate another space race. The future is in space exploration, and also in crowdsourcing. In this digital, global community the walls between us are growing ever thinner and it's time we rise up together to take the future into our own hands. I am incredibly proud to say that I am one of many who supported this project.

    14. Johnny Solis on

      We're all family, and this brings us closer to each other �
      So happy to be a part of the planetary society! And a new revolution to come!

    15. Steve Payonzeck on

      Here's what we can do to change the world, right now... Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.

      - Bill Hicks