It's definite now: Solar sail spacecraft lost

Jun 22, 2005

A solar sail spacecraft failed to reach orbit because of an apparent booster rocket problem, Roskosmos, the Russian space agency said Wednesday.

The unmanned spacecraft, called Cosmos 1, was launched at 3:46 p.m. EDT Tuesday aboard a Volna rocket, Roskosmos said, from a Russian submarine in the Barents Sea. But 83 seconds after the launch, the craft experienced a spontaneous shutdown of the first stage rocket engine.

The spacecraft with eight triangular sail blades, each 16.5 yards long, was built under a contract with the U.S. Planetary Society. Scientists planned to study the possibility of using a solar sail as a traction system and as a way to control the spacecraft during its orbit flight.

An attempt in 2001 to test a spacecraft with two sail blades also failed, because the craft failed to deploy from its booster rocket.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Italian astronaut brews, sips first fresh espresso in space

Related Stories

What can we do with unwanted satellites?

Apr 30, 2015

There are thousands of satellites in Earth orbit, of varying age and usefulness. At some point they reach the end of their lives, at which point they become floating junk. What do we do with them then?

Europe launches new satellites into space

May 07, 2013

Europe's lightweight rocket, Vega, was launched from Kourou space base in French Guiana late Monday for the first mission, webcast live, since its maiden flight in February last year.

European Vega rocket launch delayed due to weather

May 04, 2013

The launch Saturday of Europe's lightweight rocket, Vega, from Kourou in French Guiana was put off until an unspecified date because of poor weather conditions at the space base, the European Space Agency ...

Recommended for you

Image: Akari view of the Cygnus region in the Milky Way

9 hours ago

The constellation of Cygnus is one of the most recognisable in the northern hemisphere. During the summer months, the stars of its long neck stretch along the Milky Way and its wings sweep from side to side.

Image: Hubble eyes galactic refurbishment

10 hours ago

The smudge of stars at the center of this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image is a galaxy known as UGC 5797. UGC 5797 is an emission line galaxy, meaning that it is currently undergoing active star formation. ...

Improved detection of radio waves from space

11 hours ago

Geodesy is the scientific discipline that deals with the measurement of the Earth. One of the measurement techniques it employs uses radio waves from far-distant objects in space to determine factors such ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.