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Cosmos Sail 1


Designation n/a
Launch date 21 Jun 2005
Country of origin CIS
Mission Scientific: ionosphere study
Perigee/Apogee 800 km, circular
Inclination near-polar
Launch vehicle Volna #4
Launch site From a submarine in B3arents Sea

World's first solar sail spacecraft

Four days after launch, the spacecraft was to deploy its sail and become one of the brightest objects crossing the night sky. The solar sail is a structure with an overall area of 600 m2, coated with a light-reflecting compound. It is to demonstrate the feasibility of using solar light energy to propel spacecraft without the need to carry large rockets and chemical fuels on possible future long-distance space journeys.

The Planetary Society is in charge of project management, and funding for the privately-run space mission came largely from Society members, private donors, and the commercial media company Cosmos Studios.

Participants in the project: the Russian Federal Space Agency, NPO-Lavochkin, Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Makeev State Rocket Centre, Planetary Society of the USA, Cosmos Studios , the Russian Navy.

The 103 kg payload carried an apogee motor for orbit insertion. After reaching orbit it would have deployed 8 blades of aluminized Mylar spanning 30 meters.

External resources



End of life

Out of service 21 Jun 2005
Cause Launch failure

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