But on Sunday, they have just powered it back up and tried to unfurl the solar sail.
An advocacy group, known as The Planetary Society, has designed the Lightsail. However, the satellite is developed by the Stellar Exploration Inc. The size of the satellite is similar to the size of a shoe-box.
The LightSail craft is specifically designed to test the deployment of the sails. It was launched on May 20 but after two days it went offline due to a solar glitch.
It is fortunate that the craft managed to reboot itself after eight whole days of silence. Then on Wednesday of the last week, it went down again only to reboot to reestablished connection after two more days.
Solar sails use the pressure of sunlight to propel themselves across and thorough the deepest reaches of space. Technology advocates remark that the spacecraft could, at some point, fly efficient and effectively to the furthest reaches of our solar system and maybe even beyond.
According to the planetary Society mission managers and partners at the university the problem is more likely the solar powered batteries of the LightSail craft that shift into safe mode.
The mission managers suspect that this happened because sunlight levels were inconsistent, first too high and then too low, alternating.
But now that they have assessed the battery levels, they devised a new plan to deploy the very thin, 344 sq-ft or 32 sq-ft solar sail. The first attempt to re-establish contact did not work, but they got it back on the second try.
Right now, the spacecraft is too low for it to actually sail; of course, if this deployment procedure works the team has total confidence they will be able to continue towards a more ambitious test in the next year.