astronaut command late
in the mission. Starshine 2 and its ejection system have now been mounted
inside a Hitchhiker canister and are undergoing electromagnetic interference
testing at Goddard. The canister will soon be mounted on the Shuttle Small
Payload Project's MACH-1 pallet and transported to the NASA Kennedy Space
Center for installation in Space Shuttle Endeavor's cargo bay.
Starshine 2 is a hollow, 19-inch-diameter aluminum ball, weighing 85 pounds.
Its surface is covered by 845 aluminum mirrors that were polished by over
25,000 students around the world, together with 31 laser retroreflectors.
It also carries a
new spin system, consisting of a Nitrogen tank, a stinger rod, a battery,
a latching relay, and two microthruster nozzles, that will spin the satellite
about its vertical axis, as viewed here, at an initial rate of five degrees
per second, following its deployment from Endeavor in early December, 2001.