Reports on the fate of Cosmos 1, the world's first solar-sail spacecraft, which suddenly stopped communicating following its launch from a Russian submarine under the Barents Sea, are still controversial. According to AP, the spacecraft was found - scientists said they may have detected a signal from the "solar sail". As Reuters reports, the search for the privately funded experimental spacecraft has already begun, which means, the spacecraft is lost.
The announcement about the signal from the spacecraft came after an all-day search for Cosmos 1, a $4 million (Ђ3.3 million) experiment intended to show that a so-called solar sail can make a controlled flight. The spacecraft was launched at 12:46 p.m. PDT Tuesday (1946 GMT), and initial data reception was followed by silence. The signals are reported to be found Tuesday night in a review of data recorded at ground tracking stations on Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula, Majuro in the Marshall Islands of the Pacific Ocean, and at Panska Ves, Czech Republic. Mission backers at the Planetary Society in Pasadena say the solar sail spacecraft could be in a lower orbit than planned, reports Reuters.
Bruce Murray, a co-founder of The Planetary Society, called it a “good news”, says AP.