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NASA administrator, Congressman Rogers, Lt. Gov. visit space science center

Robert M. Lightfoot, Jr., acting administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers joined Dr. Jay Morgan, Morehead State University president, along with Kentucky Lt. Gov. Janean Hampton, Dr. Benjamin Malphrus, MSU Space Science Center executive director, Andres Martinez, Advanced Exploration Systems program executive, and others in visiting the space science program Wednesday, Sept. 20, to learn about the growing aerospace industry in Morehead and across Eastern Kentucky. 

“It’s pretty exciting to know in two years a satellite built here is going to be circling the moon and bringing back data. Not only that, the data is going to come back through here in the same dish that’s sitting up there,” said Lightfoot. “That’s the full lifecycle. That’s pretty impressive, MSU can be very proud of that.”


Lightfoot, Rogers, Hampton and Morgan spoke with students, local leaders and the general public during an event at the Morehead Conference Center.

“I feel that our space science program is a blue chip program,” said Dr. Morgan. “With the group we have had on campus today, it just shows what the Space Science Center and its programs mean to MSU. I couldn’t be any prouder.”

Morehead State University offers one of only five space science programs in the country. The Space Science Center has become renowned for research in nanosatellite technologies. MSU has been involved in the launch of five NASA-funded satellites: CXBN, CXBN-2, Lunar ICEcube, Ky-Sat 2 and the DM-7 Flight Demonstration.

“I can’t believe it has come this far this quick,” said Congressman Rogers.  “When (former MSU president) Ron Eaglin first came to see me and told me about his plan, I wouldn’t have envisioned this would happen so fast.  You have to credit the students, staff and leadership of Morehead State. For students who desire an exciting career in space, this is the place to Eastern Kentucky at Morehead State University.”

Lt. Gov. Hampton agrees that the program is a huge deal for the Commonwealth.

“Morehead State University is at the forefront of the aerospace and aviation research and development in Kentucky,” said Lt. Gov. Hampton. “This is absolutely going to be beneficial to the state of Kentucky.”

The group also saw a drone demonstration from the Rajant Corporation, toured the Center for Health, Education and Research (CHER), attended a reception for the Rural Health Leaders and MSU Nursing students, and Rajant Corporation Ribbon cutting and Open House.

Since coming to Morehead, Rajant Corporation has hired 15 MSU space science graduates.

The day ended with a community dinner honoring Rogers, featuring numerous dignitaries including Gov. Matt Bevin.

Additional information is available by contacting Dr. Malphrus at 606-783-2381.

Pictured above, from left to right, are: Robert M. Lightfoot Jr., acting administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); Kentucky Lt. Gov. Janean Hampton; and U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers.

Visit the Flickr photo gallery to view more photos from the event.  ​

For more information about the Space Science Center at MSU, or to learn more about the Space Science program, visit