solar sail about to be launched by Japan?

From: Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Date: Mon Feb 20 2006 - 21:40:04 EST

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    On a page about Japan's imminent launch of ASTRO-F (an infrared
    astronomy mission which "will be placed in a sun-synchronous
    polar orbit of 745 km"), there is mention of the deployment of
    the launch vehicle's second subsatellite, a solar sail (20 meters
    in width is mentioned on a discussion board on Space.com), which
    is to be deployed 1100 seconds after liftoff:
    
    http://www.isas.jaxa.jp/e/countdown/index-en.shtml
    
    This page has images of the solar sail that they deployed on a
    suborbital launch in August 2004:
    
    http://www.isas.jaxa.jp/e/snews/2004/0809.shtml
    
    This one has some images of a 4-meter solar sail deployed from a
    balloon in 2003:
    
    http://www.isas.ac.jp/e/snews/2003/0826.shtml
    
    Assuming that the solar sail's sun-synch orbit will give any of
    us a chance to observe it, it might be something to see!
    
    Ed Cannon - Austin, Texas, USA
    
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