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Morehead State's Space Science Center and Kentucky Space are collaborating with the University of Rome Sapienza Aerospace Engineering School on a series of student-driven educational satellite projects.

The goal is to develop, build, and fly a series of 4 satellites that are designed, built, and operated by university students. These satellites (EduSat, UNISAT-5, UNISAT-6, and UNISAT-7) will be built in Rome and in Morehead, integrated at the University of Rome, launched Russian Dnepr rockets from Russia and Kazakhstan, and controlled from Morehead by students using the big dish antenna and by Italian students using satellite ground assets in Europe.

The first in the series of these missions is the Educational Satellite (EduSat). EduSat is an innovative Microsatellite weighing about 24 pounds and about the size of a small microwave oven that will be launched in July 2011 from Yasny, Russia, on a Dnepr Rocket. EduSat began as a collaboration between the University of Rome and the Italian Space Agency and now includes the Morehead State University Space Science Center and Kentucky Space. During its first 30 days in orbit, EduSat will test an orbital deployer designed to release femto-class satellites. While the femtosats will not be released on the first mission, the deployment system that will ultimately deploy them will be tested.

A follow-up mission in 2012 (UNISAT-5) will deploy four femto-class satellites (with masses of under one pound each), two of which were developed by Morehead State University students and faculty. The femtosatellites (invented by Morehead Professor Bob Twiggs), called PocketQub™s, will be ejected from the UNISAT-5 "mothership" at apogee. Morehead State University has built two of the PocketQub™s in-house, with the others built by university students in the US and Europe. These femtosats will be among the smallest satellites ever launched. Each will have Earth and Space monitoring sensors and test micro/nanotechnology for space applications. The EduSat mission is a precursor mission that will lead the way to fly the PocketQubs by flight-testing the orbital deployer that will launch the PocketQubs from the larger satellite.

Contact Information

Ronald G. Eaglin Space Science Center

235 Martindale Dr.
Morehead, KY 40351

PHONE: 606-783-2224