The deployment test flight for the Cosmos 1 Solar
Sail project has been re-scheduled to launch on July 19, 2001 at 4:49
AM (Moscow time), July 18, 2001 at 5:49 PM (California time). 
Cosmos 1 is a joint venture of The Planetary Society and Cosmos

The spacecraft is fully repaired and tested after being damaged in a
pre-launch test on April 9.  It has already been delivered to
Severomorsk, the Barents Sea port from which the Russian submarine
that is launching the mission will set sail. 

Cosmos Studios and A&E Network sponsor the  project. 
The project is privately funded, has scientific and commercial
objectives, and involves the cooperation of Russian space and defense
organizations through a contract with The Planetary Society. 

“Solar sailing could one day usher in a new wave of planetary
exploration,” said Louis Friedman, Executive Director of The
Planetary Society and Cosmos 1 Project Director. 
“Launching the sub-orbital test flight on July 19 will be a
fitting commemoration of the July 20 anniversaries of two great
achievements in space exploration: the Apollo 11 lunar landing and
the Viking Mars landing. This sub-orbital flight is only an
engineering test, but we hope someday it will lead to great
accomplishments, like Viking and Apollo.”

The Cosmos 1 test craft will deploy two solar sail blades, while the
full solar sail to be launched later this year will deploy eight
blades.  The 30-minute sub-orbital test flight will test the
sail’s deployment sequence and performance.  Data collected from
this test will help engineers prepare for the planned first solar
sail mission in late 2001.

Cosmos Studios CEO, Ann Druyan, noted, “Cosmos 1 is a big gamble
for a fledgling company such as ours.  We take such a 
risk  because we hope that this transformation of a Russian
ICBM, a weapon of mass destruction, into a launch vehicle for a 
new way to travel ten times faster to the planets and stars, will
attract the world’s attention.  We want it to have some impact
on how we think about what we, as a civilization, are going to do in
space.  Are we going to booby trap our cosmic neighborhood with
ever greater instability or are we going to get on with the ancient
human enterprise of bold exploration?” 

Minor damage from a pre-flight test in April is now repaired. 
The April accident occurred when inadvertent initiation of the
spacecraft’s re-entry sequence led to some components being damaged.
Repairs were quickly made using spare parts and replacements where
necessary.  Tests on the integrated spacecraft and individual
components have been completed satisfactorily.
The sub-orbital test capsule will return to Earth with pictures of
the deployment.  The capsule is targeted for safe landing and
recovery in Kamchatka, where a Russian helicopter team will retrieve
it from the rugged terrain.

Solar sailing utilizes reflected light pressure pushing on giant
panels, which adjust to the continuously changing orbital energy and
spacecraft velocity.  The sunlight pressure is powerful enough
to push spacecraft between the planets from Mercury out to
Jupiter.  Beyond Jupiter, and out to the stars, space sailing
can be done using powerful lasers focused over long distances in

Russia’s Babakin Space Center is the prime contractor for the
project.  The company is a spin-off organization of NPO
Lavochkin, one of the largest manufacturers of robotic spacecraft in
the world.   The Space Research Institute of the Russian
Academy of Sciences and Makeev Rocket Design Bureau also play major
roles in project development.  Makeev is responsible for
development of the Volna rocket — which will launch both the test
spacecraft in July and the orbital mission scheduled for the end of
this year —  and has made arrangements with the Russian Navy
for the launches. 

Cosmos Studios and MPH Entertainment will produce a documentary on
Cosmos 1 that will air on A&E Network in 2002.


About The Planetary Society:
The Planetary Society is headquartered in Pasadena, California,
U.S.A.  The organization was co-founded by Carl Sagan, Bruce
Murray and Louis Friedman in 1980 to advance the exploration of the
solar system, and to continue the search for extraterrestrial
life.  With 100,000 members in over 140 countries, the Society
is the largest space interest group in the world.  In addition
to the Cosmos 1 solar sail, The Planetary Society conducts and
supports numerous projects and activities, including the popular
SETI@home distributed computing project and other searches for
extraterrestrial intelligence, Red Rover Goes to Mars, and grants for
astronomers searching for Near Earth Objects.  The latest solar
sail information will be posted on The Planetary Society’s website at

About Cosmos Studios:
Founded by CEO Ann Druyan and company President Kent Gibson, Cosmos
Studios seeks to build on the legacy of Dr. Carl Sagan by supporting
groundbreaking scientific research, clean high technology and bold
exploration – and engaging the widest possible audience in the
romance of the adventure. Some of the ways Cosmos Studios is doing
this are through its updating and presentation of the landmark COSMOS
television series and its broadcast and  re-issue on home video
and DVD; its proud sponsorship of the SETI@home project, whose three
million participants are actively engaged in the analysis of radio
telescope data gathered in the scientific search for extraterrestrial
civilizations; its support of scientific expeditions, including one
that recently resulted in the discovery of a new genus of dinosaur;
its creative alliances with the A&E Television Network , MPH
Entertainment and Random House to create science-based entertainment
events, books and  accompanying  curricula for students of
all ages. Check out for more
information on Cosmos Studios projects .  Contact Lyla Foggia or
Brian Hershey at (818) 501-0700, or by e-mail at or

About A&E Network:
Winner of the 2000 Governors Award from The Academy of Television
Arts & Sciences for The Biography Project for Schools and the
prestigious Peabody Award for “The Crossing,” A&E
offers viewers a unique blend of original programming, including
original movies and drama series, as well as documentaries. 
Recently, A&E signed an exclusive and extensive marketing and
programming co-development and co-production relationship with Cosmos
Studios. The relationship will feature a wide range of consumer and
educational media offerings, as well as groundbreaking and
informative specials for the Network. The first of the specials,
“The Lost Dinosaurs of Egypt,” will air on A&E in the
fourth quarter of 2001. A&E is available in more than 81 million
Nielsen homes in the United States. The A&E web site is located

About MPH Entertainment, producers of the planned A&E
Jim Milio, Melissa Jo Peltier and Mark Hufnail launched MPH
Entertainment, Inc. in 1996.  MPH specializes in the writing,
directing and production of independent feature films, television
series and specials. In just over four years, MPH has produced over
125 hours of primetime television programming and two feature
films.  Notable among MPH’s many projects are The History
Channel’s “Founding Fathers,” “Discovery Channel’s
Eco-Challenge Australia,” “Las Vegas: Gamble in the
Desert” and “Sea Tales,” both for A&E Network.

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The Planetary Society
65 N. Catalina Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91106-2301
Tel:  (626) 793-5100
Fax:  (626) 793-5528