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Solar sail test launch scheduled for July 18
Posted: Thu, Jul 12, 2001, 6:26 AM ET (1026 GMT)
Cosmos 1 solar sail A suborbital test launch of a privately-funded solar sail has been set for July 18, the Planetary Society announced Wednesday. The suborbital test flight of the Cosmos 1 solar sail is now scheduled for 8:49 pm EDT July 18 (0049 GMT July 19) on a Volna booster launched from a Russian submarine in the Barents Sea. The flight will test the deployment technology of the solar sail by extending two sail panels during the 30-minute flight; the spacecraft will land in Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula and be recovered. The test flight was scheduled for earlier this year but delayed when the spacecraft was damaged in an accident while being mated to the Volna booster. A successful test flight will clear the way for an orbital flight of the full eight-paneled sail later this year, the first flight ever of a solar sail. Cosmos 1 is a Russian-American joint venture funded by the Planetary Society and Cosmos Studios and is billed as the first privately-funded mission of space exploration technology.
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