Solar Sail Spacecraft

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Gokul43201

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A solar sail spacecraft launches on Tuesday, to demonstrate an elegant new way to power interplanetary probes.

The Cosmos-1 mission is privately funded - half the money will come from a TV studio - and lift-off will be from a Russian submarine in the Barents Sea.

The sail reflects particles of light, or photons, from the Sun, gaining momentum in the opposite direction and driving the spacecraft forward. ...
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4110912.stm

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/8291710/
http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2005/6/5B9C7AAC-6F11-424A-9CD3-2B12F1B9252D.html
http://planetary.org/solarsail/prelaunch_report1_20050523.html [Broken]
 
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FredGarvin

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I heard about this. Even though it is cool, what's the purpose of a sub launch? Is it just to launch from a particular location?
 

Astronuc

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Cosmos-1 will be launched into space aboard a modified Volna intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) from a submarine in the Barents Sea. Typically, the Volna does not have enough thrust to reach orbit.
It would seem a disadvantage to launch so far north, not taking advantage of the earth's rotation toward the equator.
 

Clausius2

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I heard about Cosmos Mission one year ago in the newspaper. I have not seen the links yet (I have lot of work to do around here, sorry), but it seems to me it is prepared for interplanetary travel, and it would need some fashion of thrust engine to escape from Earth gravitational field, wouldn't it?. Also the acceleration time would seem very large.
 

enigma

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I'm kinda curious why they wanted that launch location as well. I could understand the sub launch if they moved down to the equator to do it.

The package must have been sized to be mounted on the subs missiles.
 

Astronuc

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enigma said:
I'm kinda curious why they wanted that launch location as well. I could understand the sub launch if they moved down to the equator to do it.

The package must have been sized to be mounted on the subs missiles.
Perhaps the package is light enough, i.e. much less than a typical warhead, which means that it might be able to get to orbit or escape.

I wonder if they added a small booster stage.

On the other hand (from Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volna) -
The Volna rocket is a converted R-29R (SS-N-18) Soviet ICBM used for low cost satellite launches. The Makeev Rocket Design Bureau developed the rocket.
NASA's site - http://sse.jpl.nasa.gov/news/display.cfm?News_ID=711 [Broken]

The Planetary Society site (www.planetary.org) seems to be having problems.
 
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I was reading around today on it
in it weights in at approx. 220 lbs
and they did have to add an extra booster stage to get the required thrust
 

enigma

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Information on the R-29 launch vehicle:

http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/r29.htm

Looks like it was used to launch a satellite back in 1998 as well. Has a decently sized payload and good reliability as well.

EDIT: and the reason they used that vehicle... It's dirt cheap. Assuming it's not a typo, launch costs are a paltry 500k [$1999]
 
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I wonder if they added a small booster stage.
Yep. Looks like they did. http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/space/06/21/russia.cosmos.reut/index.html [Broken]

The reason you can launch that much payload on a converted ballistic missile is due to the fact that the Russian's nukes were always heavier than ours (and why their manned rocket program was ahead of ours).

Additionally, the reason they launched from a sub is because the Russians will launch anything on their old rockets for REALLY cheap. The whole program, including construction and launch is only going to cost 4 million USD.
 
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Astronuc

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Oops!!! Looks like they lost it. NUTS!!!!

PASADENA - A hunt began on Wednesday for a privately funded experimental spacecraft that appeared to have gone off course shortly after it was launched from a Russian submarine in the Barents Sea a day earlier. Cosmos 1, the first solar sail-powered spacecraft, appeared to be "alive" and sending signals to tracking stations but could be in a lower orbit than planned, said mission backers at the Planetary Society in Pasadena, California.
on Yahoo

http://www.planetary.org/solarsail/

Solar Sail Latest Updates - http://www.planetary.org/solarsail/latest_update.html
June 21, 2005
 

FredGarvin

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Damn propulsion geeks.

GoAvs....we have a policy against Avalanche fans (especially from Texas). You'll have to change your name. Sorry. Might I suggest something along the lines of "goRW4"?

Welcome aboard.
 
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FredGarvin said:
Damn propulsion geeks.

GoAvs....we have a policy against Avalanche fans (especially from Texas). You'll have to change your name. Sorry. Might I suggest something along the lines of "goRW4"?

Welcome aboard.
Hey now, I take exception to being called "from" Texas. I might live here, but I am certainly not "from" here (Denver). :wink: I won't even discuss what I think of your suggested name.... :grumpy:

Thanks for the welcome! :smile:
 

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