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Farewell SO-43 -- SK tonight



Tonite sees the re-entry of a very interesting amateur satellite -- SO-43
(21 Jan 2003 @ 04:37 UTC, in the Pacific west of Costa Rica).

Many of you who were at the AMSAT meeting in Portland, Maine a couple of
years ago remember a paper presented by Gil Moore, N7YTK describing the
STARSHINE program -- "Disco Ball" mirror satellites that were designed to
foster interest in Space Science by the youth. Students all around the world
polished the individual mirrors for the satellites. Gil -- who looks like a
pirate with a black patch over his left eye -- told us that STARSHINE-3
would carry a small amateur telemetry beacon on 145.825 MHz. The satellite,
along with PCSAT NO-44 was launched on the first successful Agena launch
from Kodiak Island in late September, 2001. The story is told at
http://www.onr.navy.mil/events/starshine/default.htm,
www.azinet.com/starshine/starshine3.html and
http://science.msfc.nasa.gov/headlines/y2001/ast09oct_1.htm.

When STARSHINE-3 was placed into orbit, it became Starshine Oscar-43 as
documented on the AMSAT web site at
http://www.amsat.org/amsat/sats/n7hpr/history.html:
--------------------------------------------
Starshine-OSCAR-43 (Starshine-3)
Launched September 30, 2001 from the Kodiak Launch Complex on Kodiak Island,
Alaska aboard Athena I. Orbit: 500 km, 67 degree circular.

Status: Unknown (silent since January 9, 2002)

Starshine 3 is nearly a meter in diameter (37 inches), weighs 91 kilograms
(200 pounds) and carries 1,500 aluminum mirrors polished by an estimated
40,000 student volunteers in the United States and 25 other countries.

Project Starshine is currently seeking volunteer amateur radio operators and
students worldwide to monitor and report telemetry from the Starshine 3
satellite. Science data supporting an experimental solar cell experiment
mounted on the surface of the satellite is being downlinked in a manner that
allows students and radio amateurs to participate in collecting the data.
Starshine 3 transmits 9600 bps AX.25 packet telemetry at 145.825 MHz every 2
minutes. An attractive QSL card is available to all those reporting
telemetry to Project Starshine.

Starshine 3's primary mission is to involve and educate school children from
around the world in space and radio sciences. In addition to helping build
Starshine 3, students will also visually track the satellite during morning
and evening passes by recording its telltale mirror flashes and reporting
their observations to Project Starshine. Almost every child on earth is
within visual and radio range of Starshine 3 thanks to the high inclination
orbit provided by the Kodiak launch. Visual Data gathered by Project
Starshine will be used to determine the effects of the atmospheric drag on
the spacecraft.

To report Starshine 3 telemetry to Project Starshine, and to learn more
about Starshine 3 telemetry, please visit
http://epulation.com/starshine/starshine3/.
To learn more about Project Starshine or any of the Starshine satellites,
please visit
http://www.azinet.com/starshine/.
--------------------------------------------

For details of the re-entry, see http://fdf.gsfc.nasa.gov/reentry.htm and
http://heavens-above.com/ss3-orbitdecayplot.asp.

73, Tom

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