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 February 3, 2002

Our friends at QSI Corporation in Salt Lake City, Utah, have shipped the first 538 mirror polishing kits to schools all over the world for the Starshine 4 mission. For a newspaper story about their activities, click here. They are shipping additional kits each week, so if you have already submitted a School Participation Request form, you should receive your kit by the end of February. Each kit contains three mirrors. 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. The deadline for returning your polished mirrors to us is March 31, 2002, but please send them back earlier if you can.

We have received about 800 applications for mirror kits, to date, out of the 1000 kits available. So, there is still time for you to get an application sent in, if you haven't already done so. 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. Since the kits are being shipped by United Parcel Service, we need your STREET ADDRESS, not your post office box number.

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 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 March. The team is already machining some of the spacecraft's internal structural components.

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Last Updated: February 3, 2002