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Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.

Final Words Before Launch

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.

The Launch of Cosmos 1: Live Reports

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.

Cosmos 1 Solar Sail will Carry CD into Orbit

When Cosmos 1, the first solar sail spacecraft, launches on June 21, 2005, it will carry into Earth orbit a CD containing the names of over 75,000 members of The Planetary Society and the Japan Planetary Society, along with the works of early visionaries who inspired solar sailing.

Cosmos 1: Another rehearsal...

Rehearsals don't always go so well, which is the whole point of rehearsals. That was true both for us and for the Russians today, in separate simulations of mission operations.

The buzz begins!

Yesterday, we sent out an invitation to print, TV, and Web media for the launch event we'll be holding at our Pasadena headquarters on Tuesday. So today, the buzz really began about our mission, and the phones are beginning to ring off the hook.

Worldwide Network to Track Cosmos 1

From Moscow to the Marshall Islands and California to the Czech Republic, tracking stations around the world will receive data from Cosmos 1, the world's first solar sail spacecraft after it launches on June 21, 2005.

Launching Cosmos 1 on a Soviet ICBM

The biggest reason that NASA—as well as other western space agencies—has not attempted a solar sail flight is that the cost of launching even a small spacecraft is so high that they are unwilling to carry out a mission with very modest goals.

Netlander Mission Cancelled

Due to funding difficulties within the French space agency, CNES, the Netlander mission has been officially canceled.

Updates from Past Recipients of the Shoemaker NEO Grants (16 April 2004)

2003 was a good year with 50,779 asteroid astrometric observations submitted, including known NEOs and the discovery of a new Aten-class object, 2003 UY12. Based upon the volume of astrometric observations submitted, observatory code 683 was the world's eighth most productive asteroid astrometry station.

New and Improved [email protected] will Form the Backbone of Distributed Computing Network

[email protected] and BOINC are gradually converging, and the benefits for both are substantial. While [email protected] enjoys the increased flexibility of the BOINC platform, it brings to BOINC something of inestimable value to a distributed computing project: millions of [email protected] users, willing to use their computers' processing power for the advancement of scientific research.

Analyzing the Reobservations

[email protected] chief scientist Dan Werthimer and his team went back to Arecibo to reobserve the most promising candidate signals detected by the project so far. Unlike most of the year, when [email protected] piggy-backs on the regular operations of the telescope, this time the Werthimer's crew had the full use of the resources of the giant dish.

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