People often look up to the stars and what they see leaves them in complete awe and wonder. For students at Morehead State, they can look up to the stars and see opportunity and exciting career prospects thanks to the University’s Space Science
Established in 2006 as one of only five programs of its kind offered at the undergraduate level in the United States, MSU’s Space Science program allows its students to get thoroughly acclimated to this technology-intensive discipline. It allows students to study physics, astrophysics, satellite telecommunications, electrical engineering, mathematics and computer science, which can lead to one of many exciting career opportunities.
“The space economy in the U.S. is thriving, so the job market is excellent,” said Dr. Benjamin Malphrus, Department Chair for Earth & Space Sciences
. “As a country, we’re more and more reliant on space for the economy and for defense and we need a workforce to command the space assets.”
One of the aspects that make the Space Science program so unique is the place where students do their work. The $16 million, 45,000 square foot Space Science Center features state-of-the-art research laboratories and a spacecraft assembly and integration facility. It’s also home to the Star Theater
, a 110-seat digital theater, classroom and planetarium, and gives its students the chance to operate the 21-meter Morehead State University Space Tracking Antenna and Radio Telescope.
“Our facility is very attractive to students, as is the fact that they are actually going to work on space-related projects,” said Amanda Holbrook, Academic Departmental Specialist for Earth & Space Sciences.
One of the most notable contributions MSU Space Science students have made is the design, fabrication, testing and launch of a Cosmic X-ray Background Nanosatellite (CXBN). When it was launched on Sept. 13, 2012, it was the first launch, on-orbit deployment and operation of a satellite build in Kentucky.
Tyler Rose (12) was student lead engineer on the project and said it was the “coolest thing, hands-down” he was involved in. As a native of Carlisle, Ky., he can’t help but be amazed that such an amazing and distinctive program was within driving distance.
“I was very blessed to have this so close to home because I was able to work in the space industry just an hour from my hometown,” Rose said. “We’re very lucky to have that in Kentucky.”
Rose has used his education at MSU’s Space Science program to continue his education at the University of Michigan, where he is working toward a master’s in engineering in space engineering with career aspirations to work for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California. Dr. Malphrus said other students have taken their four-year degree in space science to go immediately into the aerospace workforce among other available opportunities.
Thanks to MSU’s Space Science program and what it offers students, the sky is certainly no longer the limit.