Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Cosmos 1 Solar Sail To Be Launched June 21

The Cosmos 1 solar sail has completed its testing and is on its way to the launch facility at Severomorsk, Russia to be loaded in to a converted ICBM. Once in orbit, the craft will deploy its 20m diameter sails and attempt to use them under controlled flight.

If successfully, Cosmos 1 will point the way for launching vehicles and probes capable of exploring not just the solar system but also of traveling the vast distances to nearby stars.

The project is sponsored by The Planetary Society which has stuck with it despite a disappointing deployment failure in an earlier suborbital test in July of 2001.

The project also has its own website with animations depicting the mission.