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Our journalists and guest bloggers bring you stunning imagery and the space stories that matter most.

Lou Friedman is "our man in Japan" to watch IKAROS sail deployment

Emily Lakdawalla • June 03, 2010

Planetary Society Executive Director Lou Friedman is now in Japan, joining the rest of the IKAROS team to watch the eagerly anticipated deployment of its solar sails.

Firming Up the Spacecraft Design

Louis D. Friedman • May 27, 2010

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.

Solar Sail Update: New Opportunities

Bruce Betts • April 01, 2009

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.

New Developments on the Road to Cosmos 2

Louis D. Friedman • June 23, 2008

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.

Cosmos 2

Louis D. Friedman • November 16, 2007

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

Making Light Work

Louis D. Friedman • June 15, 2007

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

Update: Monitoring the Weather?

Louis D. Friedman • October 20, 2006

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.

Update: Getting Started

Louis D. Friedman • December 02, 2005

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

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

Louis D. Friedman • September 30, 2005

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.

Volna Failure Review Board Reports on Loss of Cosmos 1

Louis D. Friedman • July 20, 2005

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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