Image of John Vasquez of the Naval Research Laboratory John Vasquez of the Naval Research Laboratory prepares Starshine 1 for vibration test. Photo by
Michael A. Savell.

Starshine 4 Update for January 20, 2002

NASA has firmly manifested our Starshine 4 satellite on the STS-114 Shuttle mission to the International Space Station in January of 2003. Our mirror placement expert, Doug Winfield of Seneca, South Carolina, has improved the hole drilling pattern on this satellite, so we'll be able to mount about 1000 mirrors on its external shell. Skip Dopp of the Bridgerland Applied Technology College in Logan, Utah, has ordered the spun aluminum structural hemispheres for this satellite, and his team will drill the mirror mounting holes in them during February and March.

We've received only about 700 applications for mirror polishing kits for this mission thus far, so there's still time for you to get your application sent in. You can find the kit application form by scrolling down this home page to the heading, School Participation Request. PLEASE FILL IN ALL THE LINES IN YOUR FORM COMPLETELY, MAKING SURE TO SEND US A VALID EMAIL ADDRESS, so we can acknowledge receipt of your request, and A COMPLETE AND CORRECT STREET ADDRESS AND ZIP CODE, so your kit will get to you without delay.

We will send you three mirrors in each kit. Please polish them all and send us your best two. Not all schools return their mirrors to us, if you can believe that, and some of the polished mirrors are of unusable quality, so we'll always be needing extras at the last minute. You may keep your third best for your school trophy case or other suitable location.

We're running behind our original estimates of when we can start shipping kits, partly because we're having to chase down and correct such a large number of errors on schools' participation request forms. We now expect to get the first of the 1000 Starshine 4 kits into the mail by the last week of January 2002 and have them all shipped within a few weeks after that. You'll need to ship your polished mirrors back to us by the end of March 2002, or they won't fly on this mission.

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Last Updated: January 20, 2002