It was a little sad watching the progress of Cosmos 1 over the last couple days. Or rather, watching people try to find out what any progress of Cosmos 1 might be.
Though at a few points the Cosmos 1 team believed they had some form of limited contact with the solar sailing craft, today they believe that a rocket malfunction occurred in stage 1 firing.
I guess you get what you pay for, and even if you have the resources to pay a lot, riding up into space on a wild rocket is still a risky proposition.
I wish the Cosmos 1 project met with more success. I love the thought of sailing ships travelling around up in space. It has a peaceful quality, reminiscent of the true age of our universe – less hasty.
There’s a very interesting report written by Theodore Cotter of Los Alamos National Laboratory back in 1973 on solar sailing. According to the Federation of American Scientists it expands upon a 1958 paper by Richard Garwin in the journal Jet Propultion and a 1951 article by Russell Saunders in Astounding Science Fiction.
Strangely, this report has been classified as “restricted to selected government agencies” by Los Alamos, part of the thousands of documents that have been removed from public access since the “terrorism” started.
However, in a rare moment of love and kindness, the House actually decided to fund the Public Interest Declassification Board in 2006 – it was created 5 years ago by law, but has never convened. The House Appropriations Committee wants to give them $1 million. Hopefully this will actually happen.
It’s a shame to have such wonderful things removed from our sight.