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RE: COSMOS-1 Launch Info?



By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV 

MOSCOW (AP) - A joint Russian-U.S. project to launch a solar sail space
vehicle crashed back to Earth when the booster rocket's engine failed less
than two minutes after takeoff, the Russian space agency said Wednesday. 

The Cosmos 1 vehicle was intended to show that a so-called solar sail can
make a controlled flight. Solar sails, designed to be propelled by pressure
from sunlight, are envisioned as a potential means for achieving
interstellar flight, allowing such spacecraft to gradually build up great
velocity and cover large distances.

But the Volna booster rocket failed 83 seconds after its launch from a
Russian nuclear submarine in the northern Barents Sea just before midnight
Tuesday in Moscow, the Russian space agency said.

Its spokesman, Vyacheslav Davidenko, said that "the booster's failure means
that the solar sail vehicle was lost." The Russian Defense Ministry launched
a search for debris from the booster and the vehicle, he said.
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