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The NYTimes article Review: ‘Bill Nye: Science Guy,’ a Portrait of a Fighter for Facts includes a link to the film's trailer on YouTube and a photo of Bill Nye with a model of a 3U cubesat attached to a solar sail.

I think this is one of the Planetary Society's LightSail spacecraft and the demonstration of the sail for orbit raising in LEO is illustrated in this Planetary Society video.

It looks like the four solar panels are deployed so that they are almost perpendicular to the plane of the sail, and face four directions, so that one or two of them will receive solar radiation when the sail is oriented perpendicular to the sun for minimal photon pressure, but much less light when the sail is tilted to receive maximum photon pressure.

Question: Will the panels be articulated so that all four could receive reflected light simultaneously from the sail when oriented for maximum thrust, or will they remain static in the orientation shown in all of these illustrations?

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below: Bill Nye, from NYTimes Lindsay Mann/Structure Films, PBS, cropped.

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No. The position of the panels seems to be fixed.

The solar panels are spring-loaded, and have no actuator for exact positioning. It looks like the spring pushes the solar panel against an end stop.

LightSail 2 solar panels

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    $\begingroup$ Looks like an "open and shut case", thanks! $\endgroup$ – uhoh Oct 30 '17 at 4:52

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