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So Long Starshine
So Long Starshine
22 Jan 2003
(Source: Starshine Project)

Starshine 3 Re-entry Bulletin - January 22, 2003 (15:25UT)

Starshine 3 burned up in the the earth's upper atmosphere sometime between 0504 and 0534 UTC on January 21, 2003. It had made 7434 revolutions around the earth between the date of its launch from Kodiak, Alaska, on September 29, 2001, and its fiery end on January 21, 2003. The exact location of its flameout is still uncertain, but we know that its final half orbit carried it in a northeasterly direction over California, Nevada and Idaho in the U.S., then across Alberta and Saskatchewan in western Canada, then in an easterly direction across Hudson's Bay, Baffin Island and the southern tip of Greenland, then in a southeasterly direction along the southern coast of Iceland, down along the eastern coast of Scotland and England, across the border of France and Germany, right along the spine of Italy, across the Mediterranean Sea west of Crete and into North Africa near the border between Libya and Egypt.

Click here to view the final Starshine 3 re-entry assessments from the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, the Aerospace Corporation and Mr. Harro Zimmer of Berlin, Germany.

Since most of that path was in darkness, and a lot of it is well-populated, we have high hopes that someone saw the satellite blazing across the sky. If you sighted the re-entry fireball, please send an email to the Starshine project director at In your message, please state your location when you saw it, as precisely as possible, and give us a narrative description of the appearance and description of the fireball. If you also obtained one or more images of it, please include that information in your message, together with your name, email address and telephone number. You will be contacted immediately and given information on where to send your image or images for evaluation by our panel of astrophotographers.

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Last Updated: 24 Jan 2003