Kuiper wears a bowtie and a labcoat. He is posing with a model of the spacecraft made of tinfoil.

Lightsail 2

Kuiper smiles at the camera, wearing a Bill Nye costume and posing with a model spacecraft.

Kuiper the Science Dog explains solar sailing with a homemade 1:14 scale model of Lightsail 2.

In 2017, Kuiper became the first card-carrying canine member of @planetarysociety. We were honored to visit their offices last year (the highlight was getting to see CEO @billnye‘s secret bowtie stash!) Today Kuiper cameoed in Planetary Society’s video about the upcoming Lightsail 2 launch. The project was funded by “over 40,000 human peoples…and one dog.” ?

On September 16, 1976, Carl Sagan appeared on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. He said, “There’s a just tremendously exciting prospect called ‘solar sailing,’ ⛵ and this is a very crude model…which travels on the radiation and particles that come out of the sun. The wind from the sun. It works exactly as an ordinary sailboat does.”

“It can go out from the sun, so it can tack inwards to the sun, and because it has a constant acceleration, it can get to the inner part of the solar system a LOT faster and a lot more conveniently than the usual sorts of rocket propulsion…it takes you to where you want to go…Also, this thing itself is I think tremendously exciting..It’s an extraordinary idea and there might be a time where we start doing interplanetary regattas…”

In 1980, Carl Sagan founded the Planetary Society, and his dream of solar sailing started to become a reality. Planetary Society’s Lightsail 1 test mission in 2015 went off without a hitch (and they even captured the obligatory spacecraft selfie.) The real deal (Lightsail 2) will be launching around June 25, 2019 on the back of a Falcon heavy rocket!

You can learn more about how it works by checking out @planetarysociety‘s latest IGTV video (Kuiper is at 3:15), or by web-sailing to sail.planetarysociety.org. If you live between 42 degrees S and 42 degrees N of latitude, you may even be able to see it for yourself!

Original post: https://www.instagram.com/p/ByodDSGlvwg/

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