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Solar sail launched; recovery effort underway
Posted: Fri, Jul 20, 2001, 6:49 AM ET (1049 GMT)
Cosmos 1 solar sail A solar sail demonstrator spacecraft was successfully launched on a suborbital test flight Thursday evening. The Cosmos 1 spacecraft was launched at 8:33 pm EDT Thursday (0033 GMT Friday) by a Volna rocket from a submarine in the Barents Sea north of Murmansk, Russia. The Planetary Society reported that all stages of the booster performed as planned and the spacecraft separated from the upper stage. The spacecraft was designed to fly a short suborbital test flight to test the deployment mechanism for the solar sail before landing on the Kamchatka Peninsula. Recovery crews are currently looking for a signal for the landed spacecraft but as of late Thursday night it had not been found. If the spacecraft is located and found to have completed the test flight successfully, it will clear the way for an orbital flight of the full, privately-funded solar sail later this year.
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