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Advanced Assembly Instructions for your Cosmos-1
Solar Sail Spacecraft Scale Model

This version of the scale model accurately reproduces the configuration of the solar sail blades of the Cosmos-1 Spacecraft so they can be articulated. That is, you will be able to twist each solar sail blade as the Cosmos-1 spacecraft does. For example, full-on to the Sun gives maximum propulsion, and "feathered," or edge-on to the Sun gives minimum propulsion. Components of Cosmos-1

This Advanced Version scale model project is designed for people generally over twelve years old, although younger people might also enjoy it if they have the interest, motivation, reading skill and model-building skill. Soldering skill is also necessary for this version, and this may require adult supervision if a young person is working on the model.

This is the more difficult Advanced Version

Go here for the easier Basic Version.

What you'll need:

  • Eight sheets of 8.5 X 11-inch card stock. Use the heaviest card stock paper that your printer can handle. Use white card stock, unless you can obtain some card stock with one side metallic silver that can work in your printer: this will give excellent results, and will avoid having to use the spray paint listed below. This kind of metallic-sided card stock is available from paper specialty stores and business-supply stores.

  • Several straight bamboo skewers, about 1/16-inch in diameter. If these are not available, use small diameter (about 1/16-inch) balsawood or beechwood dowels available from a hobby store. These will need to mate with the copper tubing, below:

  • Copper tubing, about a foot in length. Obtain a size of tubing that the skewers or other wood dowels (above) can be inserted into tightly. About 1/8 outer diameter copper tubing will have a 1/16-inch inner diameter, suitable for use with the skewers.

  • A hacksaw, or a hobby tool, for cutting the copper tubing.

  • A drill with a 1/16-inch drill bit for drilling through metal.

  • A vise to hold metal parts while cutting and drilling.

  • A pair of miniature long-nose pliars.

  • Two copper (or copper-clad metal) disks the size and thickness of a U.S. penny. We'd say just use a penny, but it's illegal to deface U.S. currency.

  • A rubber eraser for cleaning the copper disks.

  • Bare copper wire, plain or tinned, about 18 AWG or slightly thinner. You'll need a length of a couple of feet at most.

  • Wire cutters.

  • Scissors for cutting the card stock. If a paper trimmer is available, it will be convenient to use. Use with caution to prevent injury.

  • Art knife, X-Acto® or equivalent, with a sharp, new blade.

  • A metal straight-edge or ruler.

  • White glue, Elmer's Glue-All® or equivalent.

  • Hot glue, with its hot-glue gun. These are available at most hobby stores and craft stores.

  • A hair drier for re-heating hot glue that has hardened.

  • A piece of fine sandpaper.

  • A can of metallic aluminum or silver spray paint. (This is not needed if you use metallic-clad card stock.)

  • 25W Soldering iron, and thin solder. Soldering skill is also required, and adult supervision if a young person is working on the model.

  • Time and patience. Plan to spend several hours working on your Cosmos-1 scale spacecraft scale model. Remember that extra care will result in a nice, accurate working representation of humanity's first operational solar sail spacecraft.

To Build your Advanced Version Cosmos-1 Scale Model...

  1. Read through all the Assembly Instructions completely, before beginning assembly. As you read, you may have ideas to improve your model, or to make assembly easier.

  2. Download the scale model parts in the ".pdf" file linked below. You can read the file using the Adobe Acrobat Reader with just about any kind of computer. (Here's the Adobe Acrobat Reader, free of charge from Adobe.)

    Click Here to Download the Model Parts

  3. Print the Model Parts on 8.5 X 11-inch (or A4) card stock, using a black and white printer. Notice the one large triangular part, the Solar Sail Blade. You'll need eight of these. Print eight (8) copies, each on its own sheet of card stock. If your printer has a straight-through-feed output tray, be sure to use it to handle the stiff card stock. If you're using metallic-sided card stock, you may need to let your printer cool a minute between each sheet. You'll also need to print one copy on non-metallic card stock, to obtain a non-metallic copy of the Central Equipment Section part.

  4. Build the Solar Sail blades. (Click the link for details).

  5. Fabricate the copper hub. (Click the link for details).

  6. Connect all the blades to the copper hub. (Click the link for details).

  7. Add the Central Equipment Section. (Click the link for details).

That's it!   We hope you enjoy your Cosmos-1 scale model. If you do, please tell your friends, family, and co-workers about it. Drop us a line if you'd like to provide some feedback about this model project.

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