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SCI/TECH: Launch Date Set For The Worlds First Solar Sail Spacecraft

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posted on Nov, 10 2004 @ 08:35 PM
Without any Government funding, Carl Segan's team announced the world's first solar sail spacecraft will launch on March 1, 2005. The intention is to perform the first controlled solar sail flight. The craft is already built and ready to launch. After launch it is set to orbit the earth in a gradually rising orbit driven by the mylar sails.
Full Story -The Cosmos 1 team announced today that the world’s first solar sail spacecraft will be set for launch on March 1, 2005 from a submerged submarine in the Barents Sea. Cosmos 1 – a project of The Planetary Society – is sponsored by Cosmos Studios.

“With the spacecraft now built and undergoing its final checkout, we are ready to set our launch date,” said Louis Friedman, Executive Director of The Planetary Society and Project Director of Cosmos 1. “The precedent-setting development of the first solar sail spacecraft has had its ups and downs like a roller coaster ride, but now the real excitement begins.”

Cosmos 1’s mission goal is to perform the first controlled solar sail flight as the spacecraft is propelled by photons from sunlight. The Cosmos 1 launch period will extend from March 1 to April 7, 2005. The actual launch date will be determined by the Russian Navy, which directs the launch on the Volna rocket – a rocket taken from the operational intercontinental ballistic missile inventory.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Not so long ago, someone dreamed up a seemingly ridiculious way to power a spacecraft. The idea of using a sail to power a craft millions of miles into space seemed completely outlandish just a decade ago. However, the idea of propelling a craft with photons seems to have caught on, and now Carl Sagan's group will launch the first ever solar powered craft on Sagan's 70th birthday. All this is being done without government funds. While this is just a first step using a solar cell, it still has me somehow facinated.

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Light Propulsion...Is this for REAL??

[edit on 10-11-2004 by Banshee]

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