WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- An invention, in part created by a Purdue professor, is receiving recognition from TIME magazine.
The publication named the LightSail 2 one of the best inventions of 2019.
LightSail 2 uses solar rays to move in space.
It launched in June and has been in orbit 500 miles above the Earth's surface since.
It's the first controlled solar sail in orbit and the highest performing solar sail until NASA launches its project next year.
Purdue associate Professor David Spencer is the project manager.
He said it's all about advancing technology.
"What we are trying to learn from this point forward is see if we can improve the solar sailing performance bit," said Spencer. "The legacy of LightSail is passing along the technology advancement and the lessons learned."
LightSail 2 was crowdfunded by more than 50,000 people.
It will drop out of orbit about a year from now.
To follow the LighSail 2 mission, including its estimated current location in orbit, visit www.planetary.org/missioncontrol.