Student Telescope Program at Goldstone Turns 10
The Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope Program in California's
Mojave Desert celebrates its 10th anniversary this month. Since its
inception in October 1996, the program has partnered with NASA and
the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., in creating an educational
program for K-12 students. This premier educational program has trained
21,000 students at 177 schools in 27 states and 13 countries, and it
continues to expand.
Image right: Antenna for the Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope Program. Image credit: NASA/JPL + Browse version of image
An anniversary celebration will be held on Tues., Oct. 17, at NASA's Goldstone's
Deep Space Communication Complex. During the celebration, the telescope will
be renamed the Dr. Michael J. Klein Radio Observatory, in honor of the late
JPL scientist who was instrumental in helping to form the program.
The program's telescope, Deep Space Station-12, was once on the list to be
decommissioned by NASA. In the early 1960s, the telescope was used to track
unmanned spacecraft missions such as Voyager, Viking and Galileo, and Apollo
spacecraft returning from the moon.
The Lewis Center for Educational Research in Apple Valley operates the telescope
as a unique learning tool for students, with the goal of partnering students with
scientists in real-life, hands-on activities. Research studies have shown that
the program allows students to feel a sense of accomplishment that they are
collecting relevant data for NASA and JPL.
Students from around the world connect to the 34-meter (111-foot) telescope via
the Internet. Once they are connected, mission control operators at the Lewis
Center assist them in taking control of the telescope and collecting data from
the deepest regions of space.
In 2001, students participated in the Cassini Jupiter Microwave Observing campaign,
collecting data that were helpful in refining the calibrations of the passive radiometer
instrument on the Cassini spacecraft as it made its way past Jupiter. Students also
observed the landing sites for the Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity.
For more information about the Lewis Center for Educational Research on the Internet,
. For more information about JPL on the Internet,
Media contacts: Natalie Godwin 818-354-0850
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Cheryl Thompson 760-946-5414 ext. 202
Lewis Center for Educational Research