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Solar Sail Soars Into Space

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Tue Jun 21, 2005 9:09 pm
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By Leonard David, A privately-backed solar sail soared into space Tuesday on a mission to use sunlight to fly through space.

A Russian Volna rocket was used to loft the solar sail-propelled spacecraft, known as Cosmos 1 to its builders. The converted Cold War missile shot skyward at about 3:46 p.m. EDT (1946 GMT) from its Russian nuclear submarine launch pad positioned beneath the Barents Sea.

The Cosmos 1 solar sail was housed on the tip of the Volna rocket, which was launched by the Russian Navy.

Cosmos 1 is expected to orbit the Earth at roughly a 500 mile (800 kilometer) altitude. It will gradually raise its orbit by solar sailing – using the pressure of light particles – photons –from the Sun upon its luminous sails.

Read more at Space.com

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