Watch the Solar Sail From Your Back Yard

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tfwthom

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One of many things that hit my inbox...thought I'd pass it along.<br /><br /><br /><br />In just a few weeks, The Planetary Society will fly the first solar sail spacecraft. This private venture, sponsored by Cosmos Studios and the Members of The Planetary Society, will be historic. Light sailing is the technology that may someday take us to the stars, but for now the first attempt by a space-interest organization to fly its own mission will simply use the sail in controlled flight to increase our orbital energy. <br /><br /> <br /><br />We invite you to join with us and give your students, colleagues and friends to a chance to be part of Solar Sail Watch Team. Participation in the program can be for the serious amateurs or for the general public, it can be educational and informative, or just plain fun. <br /><br /> <br /><br />The sail launches (on a ballistic missile from a Russian submarine) into an approximately 800-kilometer, nearly circular orbit. The sails form a 30-meter diameter circular spacecraft of highly reflective material – which when pointed correctly will be as bright as the brightest star in the sky. Because of the near-polar orbit, everyone on Earth should see be able to see it sometime during the mission, although exact conditions for viewing depend on the spacecraft pointing, its position in its orbit, the Earth-Sun geometry, time of day and, of course, local weather conditions. <br /><br /> <br /><br />All of the necessary information is described on our web site, including a cooperative linkage we have with Heavens Above for providing viewing information. <br /><br /> <br /><br />Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, The Planetary Society has inspired millions of people to explore other worlds and seek other life. Today, its international membership makes the non-governmental Planetary Society the largest space interest group in the world. Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray and Louis Friedman founded The Planetary Society in 1980.<br /><br /> <br /><br />If you <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1" color="#3366ff">www.siriuslookers.org</font> </div>
 
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jindivik

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wow, that sounds quite interesting<br /><br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>All of the necessary information is described on our web site, including a cooperative linkage we have with Heavens Above for providing viewing information. <p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />have a link to the website you could share with us?
 
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tfwthom

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Cosmos 1 Ships in Preparation for June Launch<br />First Solar Sail Spacecraft Ready for Daring Flight<br /><br />Cosmos 1, the world's first solar sail spacecraft, has shipped in preparation for a launch window that opens on June 21, 2005, traveling from the test facility of Lavochkin Association in Moscow to Severomorsk, Russia. The innovative and first-of-its-kind solar sail, a project of The Planetary Society and 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.<br /><br />"Reaching this milestone puts us on the doorstep to space!" said Louis Friedman, Planetary Society Executive Director and the Cosmos 1 Project Director. "We are proud of our new spacecraft and hope that Cosmos 1 blazes a new path into the solar system, opening the way to eventual journeys to the stars." <br /><br />The Planetary Society ( http://planetary.org/solarsail/) is working with the spacecraft developers, the Lavochkin Association and the Space Research Institute in Russia, to fly this solar sail mission. Cosmos 1 was funded by Cosmos Studios (http://carlsagan.com ), the science-based entertainment company led by Ann Druyan, who also serves as the solar sail mission's Program Director. Additional donations from members of The Planetary Society helped make the mission possible. <br /><br />"Launching Cosmos 1 on the day of the summer solstice is a great way to honor our ancestors and to continue the journey to the stars that they began," said Druyan. "As the rays of the sun strike the ancient astronomical observatories of Stonehenge and Chaco Canyon, Cosmos 1 will rise from the sea into space to take its place in the great story of exploration."<br /><br />Cosmos 1 has attracted world-wide attention by being the first attempt at a revolutionary and potentially much faster way of moving through space, and be <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1" color="#3366ff">www.siriuslookers.org</font> </div>
 
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tfwthom

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Join Us for the Launch of Cosmos 1, <br />the World's First Solar Sail Spacecraft<br /><br /> <br /><br />On June 21, Cosmos 1 - the world's first solar sail spacecraft - is set to launch atop a converted ICBM from a submerged Russian submarine in the Barents Sea. The Planetary Society and Cosmos Studios invite you to join us by becoming a member of the Solar Sail Watch Team.<br /><br /> <br /><br />All of the necessary information is described on our web site, including a cooperative linkage we have with Heavens Above for providing viewing information. <br /><br /> <br /><br />If you would like to join our Solar Sail Watch Team, please contact Alice Wakelin at (626) 793-5100 or by email at tps.aw@planetary.org. Thank you for your support.<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1" color="#3366ff">www.siriuslookers.org</font> </div>
 
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tfwthom

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11:45 pm PDT (6:45 UTC, June 22):<br /><br />Update From Moscow<br /><br />Project Director Louis Friedman cautioned that some data point to a launch vehicle misfiring, one that would prevent the spacecraft from achieving orbit. He said, “That the weak signals were recorded at the expected times of spacecraft passes over the ground stations is encouraging, but in no way are they conclusive enough for us to be sure that they came from Cosmos 1 working in orbit.” The Russian space agency indicated that the Volna rocket may have had a problem during its first or second stage firing. “This,” Friedman noted, “would almost certainly have prevented the spacecraft from reaching the correct orbit.”<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1" color="#3366ff">www.siriuslookers.org</font> </div>
 
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nevers

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With alarm set, binos and coordinates in hand, I actually had a break between calls during the predicted pass for my area. I walked outside to find...golly gee can it really be...Happy Solstice...clouds. The monsoons seem to be a bit early. Oh well...now that I'm home and have read the sad news of the solar sail...I guess it didn't really matter. I hope they find it...I was really looking forward to watching it.
 
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spaceinvador_old

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Ok, possibly one of the boosters failed some info shows. Yes, there was weak signal, but it may not be the craft indeed.<br /><br />Wow, that is high tech...
 
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