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Solar sail test rescheduled for mid-July
Posted: Mon, Jun 11, 2001, 5:33 PM ET (2133 GMT)
Cosmos 1 solar sail The suborbital test flight of a solar sail has now been rescheduled for mid-July after an accident earlier in the year delayed the launch, The Planetary Society reported Monday. The flight of "Cosmos 1", to be carried out by a Volna sub-launched rocket, had been scheduled for April but was postponed when a short-circuit from a preflight checkout caused the spacecraft's inflatable reentry shield to deploy, damaging the spacecraft. Planetary Society executive director Lou Friedman said that the damage to the spacecraft has been repaired and that they are now waiting for a launch slot from the Russian Navy, which they anticipate to be in mid-July. The suborbital flight will test the deployment mechanism of a solar sail that will be flown on a later orbital mission, tentatively scheduled for late this year. The privately-funded mission will be the first use of a solar sail in space. The society also reported that a documentary about the mission, being produced by society partner Cosmos Studios, will air on the cable television network A&E next year.
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