For Release: September 21, 2001
Media Relations Office
Students from 20 Ohio schools and social organizations have good reason to watch the September 21 launch of the Starshine 3 satellite from Kodiak Island, Alaska, at 9:30 p.m. They polished some of the 1,500 mirrors that will make the satellite visible to the naked eye and allow the students to learn about Earth as they measure the satellite's position in the sky.
Fifteen of the 20 schools are in Northeast Ohio.
"That's probably in large part because, when NASA Glenn and OAI agreed -- jumped at the chance, really -- to design and build the power supply for Starshine, we learned about the exciting way school children could be involved in building the satellite, said Principal Investigator Phillip Jenkins, of OAI, Cleveland, Ohio. "We talked about it to our families, our kid's schools, to friends and even friends of friends who are teachers."
The Starshine 3 satellite is nearly a meter in diameter (37 inches), weighs 91 kilograms (200 pounds) and is covered with 1,500 mirrors polished by students from around the world. Once the satellite is in low Earth orbit, students will track it and measure its orbital decay (how quickly it is falling back to Earth). From the collection of world-wide data, students and adults can calculate the thickness of the upper atmosphere and even the effect of solar flares on it.
"Project Starshine is a great program that involves students in nearly all the stages of a science mission -- from building the satellite through data collection and interpretation," said Henry Curtis, of the Photovoltaics and Space Environment Effects Branch at Glenn.
The ambitious Project Starshine plan is for students around the world to study Earth's upper atmosphere for the full 11-year sun cycle through a series of Starshine satellites. Each satellite remains in orbit up to 1 year before burning up on reentry. Starshine 1 was launched in May 1999. Starshine 2 will be launched in the fall of 2001.
NASA Television's live coverage and commentary from Kodiak Island will begin at 7:30 p.m and continues until it has been confirmed that Kodiak Star's four satellites have been deployed. The final deployment confirmation, that of Starshine, is expected to be communicated from Antarctica approximately 2 hours, 10 minutes after launch. NASA TV is broadcast on GE-2, transponder 9 (C-Band) located at 85 degrees West longitude. Audio is also available on the V circuits that may be accessed directly by dialing 321-867-1220, -1240, -1260, -7135, or -4003. Coverage will also be webcast and may be accessed via the NASA Kennedy Space Center home page at http://www.ksc.nasa.gov/.
For more information about Project Starshine go to http://www.azinet.com/starshine/.
The list of Ohio schools participating in Starshine 3 follows:
|School City||School||Point of Contact|
|Bay Village||Bay Village Preschool PTA||David Wilt|
|Bay Village||Hepp Home School||Maura M. Hepp|
|Cincinnati||Princeton High School||Pamela C. Farrell|
|Cincinnati||Cincinnati Country Day School||Jan French|
|Cincinnati||Montgomery Elementary||Erika Jewell|
|Cleveland||Thomas Jefferson Middle School||Bradley DiFranco|
|Cleveland||Kentucky Elementary School||Anthony Miranda|
|Cleveland Heights||Roxboro Middle School||Kathy Pahys|
|Columbia Station||Boy Scout Troop 104||Randle R. Jones|
|Columbia Station||Troop 795 Junior Girl Scouts||Valerie Lyons|
|Elyria||St. Jude School||Grace Ogonek|
|Fairview Park||St. Angela Elementary School||Eileen Augustin|
|Massillon||Jackson Middle School||Craig W. Smith|
|Medina||Medina Christian Academy||Timothy A. Holmes|
|Parma Heights||Incarnate Word Academy||Cheryl Kaminski and Anthony Miranda|
|Parma Heights||Parma Heights Christian Academy||Dottie Fowler|
|Perrysburg||Glenwood Elementary School||Linda Cutler|
|Rossford||Rossford High School||Richard E. Lees|
|Strongsville||Strongsville High School||Laurel Odeal|
|Valley City||Whitson Homeschool Group||Elizabeth Whitson|
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NOTE TO EDITORS/NEWS DIRECTORS: If today's Starshine launch is cancelled because of inclement weather in Alaska, launch attempts may be made on Saturday or Sunday (Sept. 22 or 23). Please check the Kennedy Space Center home page for up to date launch information.
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