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LightSail-1 Passes Critical Design Review

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2010/06/28 05:01 CDT

LightSail-1, the Planetary Society's new ultra-light Cubesat-based solar sail spacecraft, has passed its Critical Design Review.

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LightSail-1 Passes Critical Design Review

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2010/06/25 12:00 CDT | 1 comment

LightSail-1, the Planetary Society's new ultra-light Cubesat-based solar sail spacecraft, has passed its Critical Design Review.

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Firming Up the Spacecraft Design

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2010/05/27 12:00 CDT

The LightSail-1 spacecraft development is proceeding well. Our engineering team has completed crucial milestones to building the vehicle that will demonstrate the value and potential of using sunlight alone to propel exploratory craft through space.

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Akatsuki and IKAROS getting ready for launch, with your names aboard

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/07 04:55 CDT

I've been so focused on the dramatic return of "Mr. Hayabusa" that I've neglected to write much about two up-and-coming Japanese missions: Akatsuki and IKAROS.

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What's up in the solar system in January 2010

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/01/04 01:29 CST

While we don't have Moon bases, we do have plenty of spacecraft. Before I get into my more detailed look at the activities of the 20-odd spacecraft wandering about the solar system, I thought I'd look ahead to 2010 more generally and see what the year has in store for us.

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Solar Sail Update: New Opportunities

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2009/04/01 12:00 CDT

At the beginning of this decade, we designed a mission to accomplish this goal. We launched Cosmos 1 in June 2005, but the Volna rocket that was to place the spacecraft in orbit failed, and we were never able to test our solar sail in flight. These days, The Planetary Society is working with colleagues at NASA and at the Russian Space Research Institute to put together a new solar sail mission.

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New Developments on the Road to Cosmos 2

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2008/06/23 12:00 CDT

The Planetary Society and Cosmos Studios remain committed to flying the first flight with light. Our spacecraft, Cosmos 2, is a maneuverable solar sail that may be the precursor to a new mode of interplanetary travel, and could one day take us to the stars.

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Cosmos 2

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2007/11/16 11:00 CST

A letter from the Executive Director to the members and supporters of The Planetary Society.

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Making Light Work

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2007/06/15 12:00 CDT

Professional Pilot Magazine asked me to contribute a prediction about the future of flight for the next century. Naturally, I wrote about solar sailing.

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Update: Monitoring the Weather?

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2006/10/20 12:00 CDT

The bigger the dream, the harder it is to achieve it. Our dream at The Planetary Society is to fly the first solar sail mission -- and prove the technology that might someday take humanity to the stars.

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Update: Getting Started

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2005/12/02 11:00 CST

The Planetary Society solar sail team is working to try again to fly the world’s first solar sail spacecraft.

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The End of Cosmos 1, the Beginning of the Next Chapter

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2005/09/30 12:00 CDT

Cosmos 1 was—and is—a great effort, and one we are proud The Planetary Society tried to do. Our independent grassroots organization built and launched a spacecraft whose technology promises to one day open up interstellar travel.

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Volna Failure Review Board Reports on Loss of Cosmos 1

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2005/07/20 12:00 CDT

The Volna Failure Review Board convened by the Makeev Rocket Design Bureau, manufacturers of the Volna launch vehicle, has made its final report to the Russian space agency, Roskosmos, concerning the attempted June 21 launch of our Cosmos 1 spacecraft.

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The Planetary Society Asks "Where is Cosmos 1?" Received Signals May Have Come from Solar Sail Spacecraft in Orbit

Posted by Susan Lendroth on 2005/07/01 12:00 CDT

The Planetary Society continues to investigate the mystery of what happened to its Cosmos 1 spacecraft - a joint project with Cosmos Studios - that launched last week on a Russian Volna rocket.

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The Mystery of Cosmos 1

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/07/01 11:45 CDT

I know I've probably disappointed a few people by not having had anything much to say about Cosmos 1 for a while. It's because, well, we haven't had anything much to say.

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The Story of Cosmos 1 is Not Over: A Personal Report

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2005/06/25 12:00 CDT

The word failure is sticking in my craw. Certainly, we failed to achieve the objective of Cosmos 1: we did not achieve solar-sail flight. But I don’t think, with all we have done, that I can call Cosmos 1 a failure.

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Piecing the Data Together

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2005/06/23 12:00 CDT

We’ve had a very exciting day here in Moscow. Bud Schurmeier and I met with Konstantin Pichkhadze, head of the Lavochkin Association, which built our spacecraft, Cosmos 1.

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"We have a live spacecraft..."

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/06/21 09:41 CDT

...we think.

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The Launch of Cosmos 1: Live Reports

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2005/06/21 12:00 CDT

In the past twenty-four hours, the Russian space agency (RKA) has made a tentative conclusion that the Volna rocket carrying Cosmos 1 failed during the firing of the first stage. This would mean that Cosmos 1 is lost.

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Final Words Before Launch

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2005/06/21 12:00 CDT

Speaking by phone to a roomful of journalists in Pasadena less than 2 hours before the expected launch, project director Louis Friedman reiterated his confidence in the entire Cosmos 1 team.

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