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

For more information about Project Starshine go to

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.