[extropy-chat] sunjammer, beamrider

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Fri May 27 23:52:18 UTC 2005


Cosmos 1, the world's first solar sail spacecraft, has shipped in 
preparation for a launch period that opens on June 21, 2005, traveling from 
the test facility of <http://www.laspace.ru/rus/index.php>Lavochkin 
Association in Moscow to Severomorsk, Russia. The innovative and 
first-of-its-kind solar sail, a project of <http://planetary.org>The 
Planetary Society and <http://www.carlsagan.com/>Cosmos Studios, will 
launch atop a converted ICBM from a submerged Russian submarine. It will 
deploy in Earth orbit and attempt the first controlled flight of a solar sail.


An experiment to accelerate the spacecraft with a microwave beam from Earth 
will be conducted during a later stage of the mission. Led by James Benford 
of Microwaves Sciences, Inc. and Prof. Gregory Benford of the University of 
California-Irvine, their team will use a NASA Deep Space Network radar 
antenna to send the beam to the spacecraft. The Planetary Society must 
approve the activation of the experiment and will do so only after the 
prime mission objective of controlled solar sail flight is achieved.

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