Arlington, VA -- Some 40,000 children from 26 countries around the world are participants in Project Starshine, a series of satellites that will measure the effects of solar storms on the earth's upper atmosphere. Starshine 3, is scheduled to be launched from Kodiak, Alaska on September 21st at 9:00 p.m. EDT.
Covered by more than 1000 student-polished mirrors, the Starshine 3 satellite will be visible by the naked eye just after sunset and just before sunrise as far north as Point Barrow, Alaska and as far south as McMurdo Station Antarctica. The students who polished the mirrors will help study orbital decay by tracking the satellite and posting their findings on an internet web site.
Project Starshine is a labor of love for retired aerospace engineer Gil Moore and his wife, Phyllis, who regularly dip into their own pockets to fund what can't be supplied with volunteer money and labor .
"We're trying to show children that they don't have to be rocket scientists to do space experiments," Moore said. "This project would not be if it were not for the fact that the students are involved."
Other participants in Project Starshine include NASA, the Naval Research Laboratory, Lockheed Martin and many universities and small businesses.