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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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