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Citadel News Service

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     CHARLESTON, S.C., April 3-James Island High School students under the supervision of their teacher Alma Mack went on an out-of-this-world adventure with The Citadel department of physics on March 31. In an exciting new educational program called Moonlink, middle and high school students are becoming actively involved in NASA's Lunar Prospector Mission.

     Project Moonlink gets students involved in a program of lunar studies. Interacting with other students and the Prospector science team, students simulated critical parts of the Lunar Prospector's launch into lunar orbit and assisted the Moonlink mission controller in obtaining actual data from the satellite using computers with Internet access. Moonlink was created by Space Explorers, Inc.

     The Lunar Prospector spacecraft was launched in January for a year-long study of the moon and its atmosphere, and it is the satellite which confirmed the presence of ice in deep craters near the Lunar North and South poles. The Lunar Prospector marks the American return to the moon. Like the Mars Path-finder it is one of a new kind of NASA mission.

     Professor of physics and campus director for the South Carolina Space Grant Consortium, Lieutenant Colonel Saul J. Adelman, PhD, who headed up The Citadel's Moonlink program, described it as "a prototype educational outreach program for future NASA activities that permits teachers and scientists to see how research is done by space scientists. Perhaps it will encourage a future astronaut."


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