Cosmos 1

So the launch of that Cosmos 1 solar sail didn't end up going so well. The first of a three-stage booster rocket failed 83 seconds into the mission, spewing debris over the Arctic Ocean. Interestingly, a team of U.S. scientists were claiming they could detect signals from the $4 million spacecraft in orbit, several hours before the Russians made the announcement of the booster failure and the loss of the vehicle. Vyacheslav Davidenko, spokesperson for the mission, said this was "wishful thinking" on the part of the Americans, and that fragments of the vehicle and its failed booster had crashed into the sea and were being recovered by the Russian Navy. That's some serious wishful thinking, aight — better get those instruments recalibrated before the next failure launch, dudes.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

Update: Ok, so another news source contested a bit of that info, and stated the signals were being heard back from the Cosmos 1 hours later, and that those wacky rocket scientists and spacewatchers are still very hopeful about finding the sail somewhere in Earth's orbit. Man, oh man, guess we'll find out soon enough for sure. Thanks, Macross.

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Cosmos 1 solar sail didn't fly