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

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

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.

Piecing the Data Together

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.

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.

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.

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.

IBM's World Community Grid: A New SETI@home-Inspired Venture

As SETI@home has demonstrated, untold millions around the world are ready and eager to donate their computer time for the advancement of knowledge and the benefit of humankind. The story of distributed computing is only just beginning.

Scientists from Different Fields Line Up to Join the BOINC Family

BOINC stands for the “Berkeley Online Infrastructure for Network Computing.” Its purpose is to spread the credo of distributed computing beyond SETI@home, by making it easy for researchers in all fields to launch their own projects, and tap into the enormous computing capacity of personal computers around the world.

Netlander Mission Cancelled

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

Pulses, Triplets, and Gaussians: Rescoring the Reobservations

It has been more than a year since the SETI@home crew spent a hectic week at Arecibo, pointing the giant radio telescope at some of SETI's most promising targets. Much of the data collected during the reobservations has since been repackaged as work units, and sent out to users around the world for analysis.

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 SETI@home will Form the Backbone of Distributed Computing Network

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

Analyzing the Reobservations

SETI@home 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 SETI@home 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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