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Starshine 3



Starshine 3 is an American microsatellite that was launched, along with PICOSAT 9, PCSAT, and Sapphire, by an Athena 1 rocket from the Kodiak Launch Complex (KLC) on Alaska's Kodiak island (located 400 km south of Anchorage) at 02:40 UT on 30 September 2001. (Foul weather and auroral conditions had delayed the launch many times.) The 80 kg NASA satellite is basically a passive light-reflecting sphere of one meter diameter, consisting of 1,500 student-built mirrors (polished by kindergarten and grade school students from many countries) and 31 laser "retroreflectors". A few solar cells provide enough power to send a beacon at 145.825 MHz every minute. Ham operators around the world are expected to obtain signal strengths from which the decay (due to magnetic torque) of its spin rate can be determined. This is the first orbital launch from the KLC.

Alternate Names

  • 26929
  • OSCAR 43
  • Starshine3

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2001-09-30
Launch Vehicle: Athena 1
Launch Site: Kodiak Launch Complex, United States
Mass: 91 kg

Funding Agency

  • Unknown (United States)


  • Communications
  • Other

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

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