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Countdown to the launch of solar sailed spacecraft

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June 18, 2005

Countdown to the launch of solar sailed spacecraft

Countdown to the launch of solar sailed spacecraft

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June 19, 2005 If you feel like being part of an ambitious scientific adventure over the next few days, spend a few minutes at the Planetary Society web site watching the lead up to the launch on June 21 of the first solar sail spacecraft, Cosmos 1. Solar sails power a spacecraft by the pressure of light particles from the Sun –there is no engine. This technology enables the spacecraft to keep accelerating over almost unlimited distances, and is the only technology now in existence that might one day take us to the stars.

It’s not government funded but sponsored by Cosmos Studios, and supported by Members of The Planetary Society from all over the world. The spacecraft will be launched from a submerged Russian submarine in the Barents Sea and carried into orbit in a converted ICBM left over from the old Soviet arsenal.

The aim of the mission is to demonstrate the feasibility of Solar Sail flight. There’s a live blog counting down the happenings and preparation all over the world for this momentous event and it is indeed very exciting stuff.

The Planetary Society is the largest non-profit, non-governmental space advocacy group on Earth and we wish the organisation and its members the very best of luck in this grand endeavour.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon After Editing or Managing over 50 print publications primarily in the role of a Magazine Doctor, Mike embraced the internet full-time in 1995 and became a "start-up all-rounder" – quite a few start-ups later, he founded Gizmag in 2002. Now he can write again.   All articles by Mike Hanlon
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