Bill Nye Explains the Science Behind The Solar Sails That Could Revolutionize Space Travel

The CEO of the Planetary Society explains how they use light from the sun to travel to the stars.
Loukia Papadopoulos

The Planetary Society is working on using light from the sun to travel to the stars. On June 25, the Planetary Society's LightSail 2 went into orbit onboard SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket and it has already started sending back images.

The solar sail is propelled only by sunlight. As such, its technology holds promise that someday it can be used to travel the galaxy.

In this video, WIRED's Daniel Oberhaus speaks with Planetary Society CEO, Bill Nye about his LightSail 2 technology. Nye speaks about how exciting it is to be space sailing on sunlight.

He also references Carl Sagans' plans from the 1970s for such a device. Nye even brings a model of the LightSail 2 (one-tenth the size) to further explain how it works.

The device is fairly simple. It functions on sunlight hitting it and giving it a push. But we won't tell you more than that. We will just tell you that Nye says it is amazing and proceeds to explain exactly why and that WIRED provides the graphics to illustrate perfectly. Watch the video and find out for yourself.

Most Popular