I was recently reflecting on what it would take to hike over to Mars. Do you see my point? We are more or less complaining about our current willing confinement. We understand why, but that doesn’t make us less frustrated. Now think about traveling ~260 days one-way to the red planet in way less comfy conditions. Yeah, not my gig. But I still love space, and I am enjoying following the superb engineering work done with the Planetary Society’s crowdfunded LightSail 2 spacecraft. And yes, it is solely propelled by sunlight! You can find the latest pictures taken by the spacecraft here. Note that the onboard camera has a wide-angle lens, which distorts the image edge and gives a more prominent curvature to the Earth than it is really at this altitude. Still, it is fantastic and beautiful.
In particular, I am always amazed by the deep darkness of space and the radiant shine of our sun—something I could capture myself with a weather balloon @~97K feet years ago (here). You can learn more about the program here (and who knows, become a contributor to the Society), as well as accessing the latest pictures here, and telemetry here. Enjoy!