All the student-polished Starshine 2 mirrors have been received by the project, and they have been coated by the Hill Air Force Base Optics Laboratory. They are on the way to the Naval Research Laboratory for installation on the Starshine 2 satellite. The design of the internal spin mechanism for this satellite was reviewed and approved by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on January 18, 2001. An STS-108 Cargo Integration Review will be held at the NASA Johnson Space Flight Center during the week of January 22. Everything is proceeding smoothly toward a launch aboard Space Shuttle Endeavor on October 2, 2001.
Applications for Starshine 3 mirror polishing kits are pouring in from all over the world, but we still need many, many more. If you would like for your school to be involved in this mission, scroll down to the School Participation Request form on this web site, fill it out completely and send it in. Because of the extremely short time we have for getting mirrors polished for this mission, we are allowing more than one class to sign up in a given school.
We’re still hoping to start shipping out mirror polishing kits in early February 2001. Students at the Bridgerland Applied Technology Center are machining mirror blanks from aluminum stock supplied by Thiokol, an Alcoa Company, and polishing materials have been purchased by the Alaska Space Grant Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and delivered to the Aerospace Development Center in Jacksonville, AL. The deadline for getting your polished mirrors back to us is March 31, 2001. Please do not fill out an application unless you are willing to work hard to meet our schedule. BE SURE TO LIST YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS. Applications without email addresses will not be accepted. This is an internet-based project and cannot work without your address.
Starshine 3 will fly on NASA’s Kodiak Star mission out of the Kodiak Launch Complex, Alaska, on August 31, 2001. The unmanned launch vehicle for this mission will be a Lockheed Martin Athena I. It will place Starshine 3 in a 500 kilometer (300 mile) circular orbit, inclined to the equator by 67 degrees. This means that the satellite will be visible at twilight to all the children in the world as it orbits the earth for several years. The satellite will be deployed from the Athena I launch vehicle by a Lightband system being built by Planetary Systems Corporation. After certifying the deployment system on the Kodiak Star mission, we later plan to use it to deploy other Starshine satellites of this larger configuration from Space Shuttle orbiters.
Starshine 3 will be nearly a meter in diameter (37 inches) and will weigh 91 kilograms (200 pounds). It will carry 1000 student-polished mirrors and an experimental array of solar cells and thin film batteries from the NASA Glenn Research Center. It will employ a downlink radio transmitter from Cynetics Corporation to send its scientific measurements to receiving stations at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the U.S. Naval Academy, Santa Clara University, and other amateur radio receiving stations around the earth. The Naval Research Laboratory is building the satellite, with assistance from the Calhoun Community College in Decatur, Alabama, and the C. F. P. Paul Rousseau school in Drummondville, Canada. Some of the student-polished mirrors for this mission will be protectively coated with silicon dioxide by the Optics Laboratory at Hill Air Force Base, and some will be coated by the Space Optics Manufacturing and Technology Center of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.