News in Brief: UC Berkeley Satellite Launch Successful

Donations can be made by logging on to the Fund's Web site,

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The long-anticipated UC Berkeley High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager satellite was successfully launched Tuesday at 12:58 p.m., when it was dropped from a jetliner flying over the Atlantic Ocean.

The satellite, whose launch date was canceled three times before, was delayed for another 30 minutes because of faulty communications less than two minutes before its scheduled launch.

Celebration erupted from Mission Control at the UC Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory immediately following the launch.

Robert Lin, director of the lab and the mission's principal investigator, called the launch "terrific."

"We couldn't have asked for a better launch," he said.

Now that the satellite has finally been deployed, it can begin its task of studying high-energy x-ray and gamma ray eruptions that come from solar flares. These powerful discharges often disrupt communications satellites and other Earth-based electronics.

The satellite will make six daily passes over Berkeley, during which commands will be sent to it. Among the first commands given to the satellite will be to deploy the four solar panels and to set the rotation of the satellite to about 15 revolutions per minute.

Scholarship Founded To Honor UC Grad

Friends and family of Mark Bingham, the UC Berkeley graduate who died Sept. 11 on United Airlines flight 93, have established a scholarship fund for students with strong leadership skills.

The Mark Bingham Leadership Fund was set up to "identify and support Cal students that personify Mark's qualities of leadership, teamwork and sociability, but who may not have the financial means to attend Cal," said Todd Sarner, events coordinator for the fund.

Sarner, Bingham's mother Alice Hoglan and others who were close to Bingham founded the fund late last September under the administration of the California Community Foundation to "make a positive impact on the community," said Sarner.

The Bingham Fund has raised over $20,000 in personal contributions and plans to present its first UC Berkeley student with a full scholarship next year. Coordinators hope to award multiple scholarships thereafter as the fund grows.

"By being supported by their school, students can make a difference in their community and on a national scale," Sarner said. "Putting people out there that know about what Mark did and about September 11 will hopefully make an impact."

Helen Christophi


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