LightSail 2 celebrates 3rd space birthday as end of mission approaches
The mission, far beyond its design lifetime, may fall into the atmosphere in a few months.
The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 is a crowdfunded solar sail that launched June 25, 2019
the spacecraft continues to work well but is in a fight with atmospheric drag.
Molecules of the Earth's atmosphere are slowly pulling the spacecraft back to our planet, with re-entry expected in perhaps a few months,
the spacecraft has met a few challenges. Last summer, engineers recalibrated the gyroscopes on the spacecraft to account for drift
The change allowed the altitude to rise by 328 feet (100 meters) per day for a few months,
today the average altitude is about 390 miles (627 kilometers). That's compared with 446 miles (718 km) at mission start.