LunarSail is a cubesat-based space mission established by the Aerospace Research & Engineering Systems Institute, Inc. – a 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization dedicated to promoting space exploration and STEM education through hands-on educational projects and public outreach. LunarSail is designed to use a solar sail to propel a small spacecraft from Earth orbit onto a lunar orbit rendezvous trajectory and execute orbital insertion around the Moon.
Social media will be integrated into the mission, in particular once the spacecraft is in space. In addition to radio, cameras and telemetry, it will use social media as another means of communicating to and from the spacecraft. The public is invited to submit messages, artwork, music and short video clips that will be stored onboard the spacecraft in a reserved area of computer memory storage.
During the transit to lunar orbit, LunarSail will periodically send out status updates and messages via social media – some will be automated and some commanded from the ground. After it enters lunar orbit, LunarSail will transmit the messages, graphics and video that have been stored on it back to Earth, for anyone and everyone to see and hear as long as they can pick up the signal from the spacecraft. Additionally, the items will be transmitted via social networks and displayed on the LunarSail website with attribution and captioning.