KSC Release No.: 104 – 00

Kodiak Star, the first planned orbital launch from the new Kodiak Launch
Complex in Alaska will be a NASA collaborative mission with the Department
of Defense (DoD). The payload consists of four small satellites to be
launched aboard a Lockheed Martin Athena I launch vehicle. The Athena I
being used for this launch was reassigned from NASA’s Vegetation Canopy
Lidar (VCL) mission that is under review pending resolution of technical
challenges associated with developing the science instruments.

NASA’s spacecraft in the Kodiak Star mission is Starshine 3, a satellite
program developed by the Rocky Mountain NASA Space Grant Consortium and
built by the Naval Research Laboratory. The Starshine 3 satellite, about one
meter in diameter and weighing about 200 pounds, is covered with
front-surface aluminum mirrors. They were machined by technology students in
Utah and polished by participating grade schools from all over the world.
Once the satellite is in orbit the students will visually track the
satellite and report their findings on the project’s web site. The high
inclination that can be achieved by launching from Kodiak Island, AK, will
allow students in Alaska, northern Canada, the British Isles, Scandinavia
and Russia who cannot see the Starshine satellites deployed in lower
latitude orbits to participate in the project.

PICOsat, the primary Department of Defense Satellite, is a technology
demonstration satellite carrying four experiments in the areas of vibration
isolation technology, ionospheric observations and polymer battery
characteristics. PICOsat was built at Surrey Satellite Technology Limited
(SSTL) in the United Kingdom.

The second DoD spacecraft is a Prototype Communications Satellite (PCSat),
operating in the amateur radio band, designed and manufactured by Midshipmen
of the United States Naval Academy. It will become part of the amateur
radio community’s Automatic Position Reporting System (APRS) in low earth
orbit receiving digitized identity and position data from amateur radio
operators and transmitting it to one or more ground stations.

The third DoD spacecraft is SAPPHIRE, a micro-satellite designed and built
by students at Stanford University and Washington University-St. Louis. The
primary mission of Sapphire is to space-qualify two sets of “Tunneling
Horizon Detector” infrared sensors designed and built by the Jet Propulsion
Laboratory and Stanford University. Secondary experiments include a digital
camera and voice synthesizer.

The Kodiak Star is targeted for launch Aug. 31, 2001.