Purpose: Study and measure
the effects of extreme solar ultraviolet radiation on satellite
orbital decay so scientists can improve their orbital decay prediction
Launch vehicle: Space Shuttle
Satellite Deployed: December
Orbit: 240-mile high, circular
This orbit made the satellite visible as far north as Alaska and
as far south as Australia.
A view of Starshine 2 from Space Shuttle Endeavor (Courtesy of NASA).
|Size: 19 inches in diameter and weighing
Characteristics and Instrumentation:
- Carried 800 mirrors that were polished by students in 1000 schools
in 30 countries.
- Carried thirty-one laser retro-reflectors on its surface to
permit the International Satellite Laser Ranging Network to track
Made possible by: The Naval Research Laboratory,
students around the world, many volunteer organizations and individuals,
Re-entry: Starshine 2 flamed out at 10:57 UT April
26, 2002. It had originally been predicted to descend into the lower
atmosphere and flame out in June, 2002; however, unusually high
solar activity shortened its orbital lifetime.