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Planetary Society: Cosmos 1 failure "virtually certain"
Posted: Thu, Jun 23, 2005, 8:16 AM ET (1216 GMT)
Cosmos 1 solar sail Officials with The Planetary Society, the organization that developed the Cosmos 1 solar sail spacecraft, said late Wednesday that the mission's failure was "virtually certain" because of the failure of the spacecraft's launch vehicle. Cosmos 1 was launched Tuesday on a sub-based Volna booster, but ground stations recorded only a couple faint signals thought to be from the spacecraft since its launch. Russian officials said the launch failed when the Volna's first stage shut down prematurely, preventing the spacecraft from reaching orbit. While Planetary Society leaders were hopeful late Tuesday that the signals they had detected indicated Cosmos 1 was indeed in orbit, albeit not in its planned orbit, by Wednesday they said the signals they detected could be "phantoms", although they will continue attempting to listen for transmissions from the spacecraft. Efforts by US Strategic Command to track the spacecraft have also turned up nothing. Roskosmos said that they will investigate the Volna launch failure, which was the second failure of a Russian vehicle in less than 24 hours.
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