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A solar sail spacecraft designed to use light from the Sun to travel through space may not have separated from its booster rocket, officials have said.
AN ATTEMPT to launch a spacecraft propelled by sunlight was reported to have failed last night when the booster rocket broke down shortly after lift-off in the Barents Sea.
The launch of Cosmos 1 was part of a joint Russian-American attempt at the first controlled flight using a solar sail. An official in Russia’s Northern Fleet told the RIA-Novosti news agency that the engine had failed 83 seconds after the launch from a submerged Russian submarine.
The official said that a search was under way for the solar sail and the Volna booster rocket.
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.
Originally posted by orionthehunter
Four million dollars is a huge sum of money for a member supported organization like The Planetary Society to come up with considering I believe they only have between 100,000 to 200,000 members worldwide. Apparently they succeeded in getting some large donations or corporations to help.