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Planetary Society planning another solar sail
Posted: Tue, Jul 26, 2005, 8:53 AM ET (1253 GMT)
Cosmos 1 solar sail The Planetary Society is contemplating building and launching another solar sail after the launch of its first such spacecraft, Cosmos 1, failed last month. Aerospace Daily reported Monday that the society is considering building another sail, using spare components from Cosmos 1, that could be ready for launch as early as late 2006. Cosmos 1 was lost when its Volna rocket failed during flight June 21. Russian investigators concluded last week that the first stage of the sub-launched rocket shut down prematurely, preventing Cosmos 1 from reaching orbit. However, The Planetary Society continues to believe that Cosmos 1 may have reached orbit, albeit briefly, based on telemetry received at two ground stations. The society did not participate in the failure review because of export control restrictions, and has been unsatisfied with the level of communication with investigators about the launch failure. If the society launches a new solar sail, they plan to use a different launch vehicle, flying as either the primary payload on a Kosmos-3M booster or as a secondary on a Dnepr, Soyuz, or Ariane.
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