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: NASA's reliance on outsourcing launches causes a dilemma for the space agency

Related Stories

Will we ever reach another star?

Jun 25, 2015

There are two separate parts of your brain I would like to speak with today. First, I want to talk to the part that makes decisions on who to vote for, how much insurance you should put on your car and deals ...

How to sail through space on sunbeams – solar satellite leads the way

Jun 12, 2015

A new kind of spacecraft that sails on sunlight has just been successfully deployed above Earth. The LightSail satellite yesterday overcame a series of glitches to unfurl its solar sails, a propulsion system that's entirely different to traditional rockets, thrusters or eve ...

LightSail team prepares for tests of mylar space wonder

May 11, 2015

The concept of LightSail—spacecraft designed to propel through space on beams of sunlight— pushed through by nothing but the pressure of sunlight—has been around for years but this month made special ...

Successful SpaceX escape test 'bodes well for future'

May 07, 2015

SpaceX's Dragon capsule sailed through the first flight test of its emergency astronaut escape feature Wednesday, a critical step toward launching people into space from US soil in the next two years.

Recommended for you

Hubble view: Wolf-Rayet stars, intense and short-lived

Jul 03, 2015

This NASA/European Space Agency (ESA) Hubble Space Telescope picture shows a galaxy named SBS 1415+437 (also called SDSS CGB 12067.1), located about 45 million light-years from Earth. SBS 1415+437 is a Wolf-Rayet ...

Crash test assesses plane emergency locator transmitters

Jul 03, 2015

The Cessna 172 airplane dangled 82 feet in the air – looking almost like it was coming in for a landing, except for the cables attaching it to a huge gantry at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, ...

NASA image: Curiosity's stars and stripes

Jul 03, 2015

This view of the American flag medallion on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity was taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) during the 44th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars (Sept. 19, 2012). ...

NASA image: Stellar sparklers that last

Jul 03, 2015

While fireworks only last a short time here on Earth, a bundle of cosmic sparklers in a nearby cluster of stars will be going off for a very long time. NGC 1333 is a star cluster populated with many young ...

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.