Re: Mir Moon Marvel + Satellite Dispatch / Alt News / 2.01 / New Moon Rises Over the Northern Skies

James Husnay Sr. (
Tue, 27 Oct 1998 20:17:06 -0500

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The Znamaya Program was brought to SeeSat-L's attention sometime this
early summer and many felt it would ever get off the ground because of
funding  and the problems with Mir. I was able to find a great deal
about the Znamaya program from the website and the Space
Regatta Consortium's efforts to continue on with the program with the
hopes of having as many as 200 of these inflatible mirrors floating in
space to light the northern latitudes of the former USSR during winter.

I found the below website this evening  coming from Satellite Dispatch
/Alt News

The Space Consortium Website can be found there and should make for some
interesting reading for those who are new to hearing about this venture
and "solar sails" which was the original inspiration to the Znamaya

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Satellite Dispatch / Alt News / 2.01 / New Moon Rises Over the Nor= thern Skies
= 3D"-" 3D"-" 3D"-"= 3D"Alt
3D"AltNews"3D"Cultura"3D"AltMedia"3D"Acustica"3D"Netnews"<= /a>3D"OnRoad" 3D"-=


New Moon Rises Over the Northern Skies

David Nerlich reports on Russian plans to launch what will appear to b= e a second moon in orbit over European and American cities in November.

The Space Regatta Consortium, a group of companies led by Energia of Korolev near Moscow, arose from a project to organize a race from the Ear= th to the Moon with solar sails, craft driven purely by the impact of photon= s on reflective sheeting. Despite being craftily timed to coincide with the= 500th Anniversary of Columbus' discovery of America, funding failed to materialise. However, undaunted, the intrepid lateral thinking sailors diverted their pioneering spirit into shining light into the darkness, presumably for those penny-pinchers who had originally failed to see it.<= /p>

Bigger and faster and brighter than your average moon, a reflective My= lar disc will unfurl from Mir on November 9 and whiz around the northern hemisphere more than twice an hour spotlighting strategic cities such as London, Seattle, Franfurt and Moscow - although a previous experiment wit= h a 60 ft wide space mirror in 1993 was hampered by cloud. After an estimat= ed 16 orbits some will be lucky enough to watch the new moon impact and burn= up in the atmosphere.

Not eveyone is pleasantly blinded by the light however. What are the implications for nocturnal animals, goths, nude surfers? Most vocal are astronomers, fearing further loss of visibility to the night sky than is already caused by the full moon, the consortium's long term vision of launching hundreds of such mirrors to abolish the arctic night threatenin= g to turn the night sky into some kind of celestial mega disco. There are also fears of melting icecaps and other ecological disturbances.

The main goal of the Space Regatta Consortium remains to develop and promote solar sailing, solar reflectors, all spacecraft based on large deployable structures.

Live the dream yourself on the java simulator - choose a craft and sai= l to the heavenly body of your choice:


The Space Regatta Consortium m/znamya.htm

A Solar Sails Home Page can be found at:

David Nerlich <babel@t=> is an artist and writer based in Sydney.

Also in 2.01:

A Community of "others" in the Making




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