…and then a miracle occurs.
The NanoSail-D has inexplicably (and beneficially) deployed itself after about 45 days of failing to do so.
NanoSail-D spent the previous month and a half stuck inside its mothership, the Fast, Affordable, Science and Technology SATellite (FASTSAT). FASTSAT was launched in November 2010 with NanoSail-D and five other experiments onboard. High above Earth, a spring was supposed to push the breadbox-sized probe into an orbit of its own with room to unfurl a sail. But when the big moment arrived, NanoSail-D got stuck…
What happened more recently?
For reasons engineers still don’t fully understand, NanoSail-D spontaneously ejected itself.
Maybe it was fortuitously bumped by a piece of space debris which ‘released the stiction’?