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Clearly not a duplicate! of Why does the International Space Station have a downward facing light?


This answer to How does the Starlink satellite shine? begins with

Starlink (and other satellites) categorically do not have exterior lights or illumination, that would be a waste of power for no particular benefit.

and that got me thinking. FITSat-1 was a 1U cubesat and had a bunch of LEDs on its exterior. It was programmed to blink Morse code and designed to be visible to people on the ground.

Question: Is this the only case of a satellite equipped with lights designed to be seen by people? I'm primarily asking about satellites that were built and ready to fly rather than plans or designs.

From eoPoportal's FITSat-1 (Fukuoka Institute of Technology CubeSat) / Niwaka

FITSat-1 (Fukuoka Institute of Technology CubeSat)

FITSat-1 (Fukuoka Institute of Technology CubeSat)

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  • $\begingroup$ No it does not answer my question, because I have asked "Have any satellites..." $\endgroup$ – uhoh Dec 22 '19 at 4:42
  • $\begingroup$ @JacobKrall No it does not answer my question, because I have not asked about the ISS. Can you consider having another look and if you also determine that those answers do not answer my question, retracting your close vote? Thanks! $\endgroup$ – uhoh Dec 27 '19 at 5:43
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    $\begingroup$ The ISS is a satellite by any reasonable definition. $\endgroup$ – Russell Borogove Dec 27 '19 at 6:02
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Humanity Star

According to Wikipedia:

Humanity Star was a passive satellite designed to produce flares visible from Earth. Its shape was a geodesic sphere about 1 metre (3 ft) in diameter, similar to a large disco ball. It was launched into polar orbit on an Electron rocket by Rocket Lab in January 2018 and reentered the atmosphere on 22 March 2018. According to Rocket Lab, it was meant to be "a bright symbol and reminder to all on Earth about our fragile place in the universe".

enter image description here

While it was not equipped with lights, it was equipped with mirrors designed to shine the Sun's light back at the Earth. I'm surprised I didn't hear about this when it happened.

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  • $\begingroup$ You would have if you were here a while back: five questions tagged humanitystar and one in Math SE, also here’s three about Mayak (Маяк) 1, 2, 3 and one about the Orbital Reflector. But here I've asked about lights rather than mirrors. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Dec 21 '19 at 3:35

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