The Kickstarter campaign described by the Planetary Society’s Richard Chute for a solar sail craft was a huge success. CBC reports.
A campaign to launch a small spacecraft propelled through space by ultra-thin solar sails has crowdfunded enough in just one day to build the spacecraft.
The private, non-profit Planetary Society and its CEO Bill Nye had raised $200,000 on Kickstarter by Wednesday afternoon, just a day after they launched their campaign to help fund their LightSail spacecraft.
The bread loaf-sized spacecraft is powered by solar sails, designed to capture the momentum from solar energy photons using large, mirrored surfaces. The small, continuous acceleration allows a spacecraft propelled by solar sails to reach high speeds over time without carrying or burning any fuel.
The money raised on Kickstarter will cover construction of the spacecraft used in the primary mission, which will launch in 2016. A low-altitude test flight is scheduled to launch May 20.
Altogether, the project is expected to cost $5.46 million. The Planetary Society says it has $1.2 million left to raise.