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.

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Starshine 4/5 Update – September 19, 2002

Our Starshine 4/5 launch situation may be improving a bit. As you know from reading our most recent updates, these satellites were bumped from the STS-114 mission by an International Space Station control moment gyro. We were advised at the time of the bump that Starshines 4 and 5 might not get to fly until 2005 or 2006, as a result of a budget-driven decrease in Space Shuttle launch rates to four per year. However, we’re now hearing rumors that the Space Shuttle launch rate might go back up to six per year, starting in 2004, and that our satellites might fly in mid-2004. We’ll keep you up to date as this situation develops.

Starshine On Station Update – September 19, 2002

We’re making good progress with the conceptual design of a controllable mirror to be installed on the International Space Station sometime in the next few years to send naked-eye-visible Morse Code messages to students during regular school hours. Here’s a conceptual drawing of such a mirror attached to a possible location on the ISS, courtesy of our friend Herb Eaton of Swales Aerospace. If you have the ability to view a PowerPoint presentation on this topic and would like to have us email one to you, please send a request to

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Last Updated: November 4, 2002