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Countdown Goes Smoothly for Solar Sail-Propelled Spacecraft

Allis set for the launch of The Planetary Society's Cosmos 1 solar sail. The submarine hastaken position at a pre-selected spot in the Barents Sea.

Thenominal launch time is 3:46 p.m. Eastern time.

Liftoffthe rocket won't be immediately confirmed. The launch is being conducted by theRussian Navy. They will contact Lavochkin Association near Moscow who will thenrelay the information to The Planetary Society.

LouisFriedman, Executive Director of The Planetary Society, is standing by atLavochkin. "Everything is basically ok, and we are relaxed here. Except me. Iam not relaxed."

The$4 million solar sailing project is an undertaking of The Planetary Society, apublic space advocacy group headquartered in Pasadena, California. The effortis sponsored by Cosmos Studios, a science-based entertainment company locatedin Ithaca, New York.

Cosmos1 was built by the Lavochkin Association and the Space Research Institute ofthe Russian Academy of Sciences in Russia.

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Leonard David
Leonard David

Leonard David is an award-winning space journalist who has been reporting on space activities for more than 50 years. Currently writing as Space.com's Space Insider Columnist among his other projects, Leonard has authored numerous books on space exploration, Mars missions and more, with his latest being "Moon Rush: The New Space Race" published in 2019 by National Geographic. He also wrote "Mars: Our Future on the Red Planet" released in 2016 by National Geographic. Leonard  has served as a correspondent for SpaceNews, Scientific American and Aerospace America for the AIAA. He was received many awards, including the first Ordway Award for Sustained Excellence in Spaceflight History in 2015 at the AAS Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium. You can find out Leonard's latest project at his website and on Twitter.