Press Release

Planetary Society Members’ Names To Fly On COSMOS 1

By SpaceRef Editor
July 27, 2001
Filed under ,

The names of all Planetary Society members in good standing, as of August
15, 2001, will fly aboard the orbital flight of Cosmos 1, the first solar
sail. The Society will manufacture a CD bearing the names to be attached to
the spacecraft, which is scheduled to launch late this year.

“This is the best way we can think of to thank our members for their
unwavering support,” said Louis D. Friedman, Planetary Society Executive
Director and Project Manager for Cosmos 1. “Each one will now be recognized
as an integral part of this pioneering mission and can justifiably share our
pride when the first solar sail launches.”

A suborbital flight to test the sail deployment method is scheduled to
launch July 20, Moscow time. Only two sail blades will be unfurled during
that flight, which will last about a half-hour. The orbital flight of the
full solar sail will launch late in 2001. That flight should last from weeks
to months, and the sail should be visible to the naked eye, enabling people
around the world to follow the progress of the mission.

This will not be the first time Planetary Society names have traveled
through space. In 1997, a microchip bearing the members’ names landed on
Mars with Pathfinder. Stardust is now carrying their names as it flies
through a comet’s tail. And Cassini, on its way to Saturn, bears the
signatures of Planetary Society members.

To get your name onboard Cosmos 1, join The Planetary Society today. The
names that will fly on the spacecraft must be collected by August 15, since
the Society must then manufacture the CD and deliver it to the spacecraft
assembly facility in Moscow by September 1.

The spacecraft is being built by the Babakin Space Center of the Lavochkin
Association. The Makeev Rocket Design Bureau is in charge of launch
operations, and the science package is being designed by the Institute for
Space Research (IKI) of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The Cosmos 1 project is being sponsored by Cosmos Studios, which is
producing a documentary on the mission with MPH Entertainment, to be
broadcast in 2002 on the A & E Network.

SpaceRef staff editor.