Oct. 26, 2012 — Morehead State University’s Ronald G. Eaglin Space Science Program has received the 2012 Vision Award for Education from Bluegrass Tomorrow.
Dr. Benjamin K. Malphrus, director of the Space Science Center and chair of the Department of Earth and Space Sciences, along with MSU officials were on hand to accept the award in Lexington on Friday, Oct. 26.
"I am delighted to accept this award for Space Science Center faculty, staff and students,” said Dr. Malphrus. "The Space Science Center is unique in that all of our major space programs are implemented by teams that include aerospace industry and international partners working closely with our staff and particularly with our students--undergraduate students are intimately involved in the design, fabrication, testing and on-orbit operation of our space assets.
“These project-based and engineering design experiences are invaluable to producing the next generation of the nation's aerospace workforce. Most people do not realize that 15 percent of the U.S. economy is based on aerospace and we rely on the aerospace industry for national defense, homeland security and for economic production in addition to exploration and science. Our goal is to contribute to the next generation workforce in this area vital to our national economy and security."
This has been a momentous year space science. In 2012, the program managed four major space missions in various stages of completion--a nanosatellite entirely built at Morehead State University, a microsatellite developed with partners from the University of Rome (scheduled to launch from Russia in 2013), a cubesat built for the U.S. Department of Defense (with aerospace industry partners including Radiance Technologies, Honeywell International, and Tethers LLC.), and a fempto-class satellite designed and built by Professor Bob Twiggs and his students, that when it flies in 2013, will be one of the smallest satellites ever flown.
In January, Space Science Center staff and students delivered a satellite to NASA’s Launch Services Program, marking a major milestone in the Space Science Nanosatellite program. The Cosmic X-Ray Background Nanosatellite (CXBN) was developed by MSU and partners and passed rigorous space environment testing and a series of design reviews, culminating in the flight readiness. The satellite was launched on Sept. 13 as a secondary payload on a U.S. Department of Defense mission. The ground station at MSU acquired the satellite beacon at 12:51 EDT on Sept. 18. The beacons appear exactly at the right frequency, correct bandwidth and correct beacon interval. The beacon also has been detected by other ground stations around the world including several amateur radio operators. Mike Rupprecht of Frankfurt, Germany, detected the beacon on the first day after launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Sept. 13. The team has now entered the early operations of the science mission.
Partnering on the project are MSU, Kentucky Space LLC, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, Noqsi Aerospace, Black Forest Engineering and Little H-Bar ranch.
CXBN was funded internally by Morehead State University and its partners.
The Space Science Center is a division of the Department of Earth and Space Science in the College of Science and Technology. The Space Science Center, located at 235 Martindale Drive, is a $15.6 million support facility containing classrooms, laboratories and offices. The center is a two-story, state-of-the-art building encompassing 45,000 square feet of floor space. It includes a control center for the 21-meter space antenna system on the ridge top above Nunn Hall, RF and electronics laboratories, anechoic chambers that mimics the electromagnetic environment of space, a rooftop antenna test range, space system development laboratory, and digital Star Theater.
Bluegrass Tomorrow is central Kentucky’s regional planning organization, a diverse coalition of business, agricultural, development and preservation interests dedicated to promoting coordinated growth and preservation planning for the central Bluegrass region. The organization seeks to unite the efforts of public, private and corporate citizens to achieve regional solutions leading to a strong economy that respects the traditions of livable and distinct communities, surrounded by greenbelts of productive farmland and rich natural areas.
Additional information is available by contacting Dr. Malphrus at 606-783-2381 or email@example.com.