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ITAR-TASS: Booster rocket Molniya-1 failed to deploy military satellite into orbit owing to a breakdown
The booster rocket Molniya-1 has failed to deploy a military satellite into a designated orbit owing to a breakdown, a Russian Defence Ministry official has told Itar-Tass.
The rocket's liftoff was normal, with the launch complex functioning irreproachably. After the 6th minute of the rocket's flight, the third-stage engine went off under abnormal conditions.
RIA Novosti: Molniya rocket crash will not cancel solar sail launch -- Defense Ministry
The failure of a Molniya carrier rocket launched from Russia's Plisetsk Space Center on Tuesday to orbit a military satellite will not delay the launch from a Russian submarine of a unique spacecraft, Kosmos-1, which is equipped with a "solar sail".
An attempt to launch a similar spacecraft from a submarine in the Barents Sea in summer 2001 ended in failure, as was the case with a previous attempt in the spring of the same year.
The Planetary Society: Solar Sail Latest Updates
- Tracking Station Data Suggest Cosmos 1 in Orbit
Close reviews of telemetry data received at several ground stations appear to reveal weak signals from the Cosmos 1 during the first hours after the launch. The two signals were discovered independently at the Majuro portable station and the permanent station at Panska Ves through a close analysis of the data collected by the receivers around the time of the expected contact with the spacecraft.
According to Cosmos 1 Mission Operations Manager Jim Cantrell, and Planetary Society Chairman of the Board Bruce Murray, this is a strong indication that Cosmos 1 did make it into orbit around the Earth, though quite possibly not the orbit it was intended for.
In an official statement released at this time The Planetary Society said: We continue to search for the Cosmos 1 spacecraft. We have reviewed our telemetry recordings and have found what we believe are spacecraft signals in the data recorded at the tracking stations in Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka and Majuro, Marshall Islands. The review of data received at the tracking station in Panska Ves, Czech Republic also appears to indicate a spacecraft signal. If confirmed, these data will indicate that Cosmos 1 made it to orbit. We will continue to monitor planned telemetry sessions and will be working with U.S. STRATCOM (Strategic Command) to locate Cosmos 1.
Jun 22, 2005 | 19:12 PDT | Jun 23 02:12 UTC
Scattering to the winds
With failure of Cosmos 1 virtually certain, the team members that have been staffing Project Operations Pasadena have elected to return to their homes. Thanks to the Internet, if our spacecraft miraculously reappears, each of us will still be able to keep watch over the mission from our individual remote locations. Greg returns to Berkeley, Jim and Brent to Utah, and Paul to his usual life at the Jet Propulsion Lab, just up the valley from Pasadena. Lou will be returning from Moscow in a couple of days. I took off for home a couple of hours ago in order to begin to catch up on sleep.
The team may be scattering, but it's not over. The search for the spacecraft continues. The search continues in the present, as several observatories have offered to try to look for a signal from the spacecraft. (If you, too, have a spare observatory, feel free to search at a frequency of 401.5275 Hz, but I am afraid that I can't offer any advice on where to point your antenna.) The search also continues into the past, as Strategic Command is working through its "unknown objects bucket" (as Jim called it this morning) to find where the spacecraft and its launch vehicle ended up.
At the Society, we're already talking about what to do next. A few hours ago, Bill Nye -- the Science Guy, and also the Vice-President of The Planetary Society -- asked all of the staff to gather together in the living room of the 100-year-old house in which we work. He opened and poured champagne for all of us, and we raised several toasts. We toasted Cosmos 1, first of all; it was an audacious dream, that we arrogantly compared to the flight of the Wright Brothers. We toasted Lou Friedman in absentia, for whom it must have been a pretty rough week. We toasted the staff and volunteers of the Society, for all the work it's taken to bring Cosmos 1 to the world. We toasted Ann Druyan, the chief sponsor of Cosmos 1, for making it possible, and for being the mission's spiritual leader. We toasted our members, for their devotion to our cause and their support. Finally, we toasted: Cosmos 2? Many of our members are telling us they're ready to try again. We can't say whether or not we'll try again with this mission until we find out what really happened. But we'll certainly stay in the business, and try more audacious things, like the Solar Sail, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Mars airplanes, or Venus balloons we've advocated in the past.