Mission Is a Joint Project of The Planetary Society and Cosmos Studios

Pasadena, CA –“The next flight in the Cosmos 1 solar sail project will be
an orbital test of an eight-bladed sail,” announced Cosmos 1 Project
Director Louis Friedman at a press conference in Pasadena, California on
Wednesday, August 22. Friedman is also the Executive Director of The
Planetary Society.

The Cosmos 1 team will not fly another sub-orbital test of the two-bladed
spacecraft lost on July 20, 2001. Instead, they will move forward to launch
to Earth orbit a spacecraft that will test deployment of the sail blades and
initial operation of a full solar sail.

About the two-bladed test, Babakin Space Center General Director Konstantin
Pichkhadze noted that “The experience gained preparing and integrating the
payload was valuable enough to allow us to proceed to the next step.”

The next test flight is expected to launch in early 2002. Like the previous
deployment test, the spacecraft will launch on a Volna rocket, a converted
inter-continental ballistic missile, from a Russian submarine in the Barents

July’s sub-orbital test launched as planned, with the rocket flying on its
correct trajectory. However, the spacecraft never separated from the third
stage of the rocket and, thus, was unable to perform its mission to deploy
two solar sail blades.

A Russian review team has determined the cause of the failed separation to
be linked to insufficient thrust from the motor of the third stage. On
board computers sensed less than normal thrust and commanded the spacecraft
payload not to separate from the third stage. The failure was unusual – the
Volna rocket had a record of 146 consecutive successes before this

“This error had nothing to do with the payload or solar sail spacecraft,
but was a rare problem in our rocket,” said Viacheslav Danyelkin, Deputy
Director of Makeev Rocket Design Bureau, which is responsible for the launch

The Planetary Society and Cosmos Studios have directed Babakin to build a
second spacecraft as backup for the test flight; this spacecraft would be
available to conduct the actual solar sail mission. The goal of Cosmos 1
is to measurably increase its orbital energy in controlled flight, that is,
to slowly expand the orbit further out from Earth.

“This is my first ‘third stage separation failure,'” said Ann Druyan, CEO
of Cosmos Studios, “and, despite the outcome, it was a thrill! The vision
of that missile breaking the surface of the sea — not to destroy everything
we love, but to take us inches closer to the stars — was a peak
experience. We are more committed than ever to the mission, and we can’t
wait to share it with the world on the A&E Network.”

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 space.

Cosmos Studios is funding Cosmos 1 with additional support from the A&E
Network. The project involves the cooperation of Russian space and defense
organizations through a contract with The Planetary Society.

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. Babakin is responsible
for building the spacecraft and for mission operations. The Space Research
Institute (IKI) of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Makeev Rocket Design
Bureau also play major roles in project development. IKI is responsible for
the spacecraft electronics, computer and one of the cameras. Makeev is
responsible for development of the Volna rocket, which launched the
suborbital test spacecraft in July and will launch the orbital test
scheduled for 2002. Makeev coordinates with the Russian Navy for the

Cosmos Studios and MPH Entertainment are producing 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 http://planetary.org.

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 cutting-edge
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
http://carlsagan.com for more information on Cosmos Studios projects .
Contact Lyla Foggia or Brian Hershey at (818) 501-0700, or by e-mail at
lfoggia@ssapr.com or bhersehey@ssapr.com.

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 first quarter of 2002. A&E is available in
more than 81 million Nielsen homes in the United States. The A&E web site is
located at www.AandE.com.

About MPH Entertainment, producers of the planned A&E documentary:
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.

The Planetary Society
65 N. Catalina Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91106-2301
Tel: (626) 793-5100
Fax: (626) 793-5528
E-Mail: tps@planetary.org