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MSU Space Science Center's tech and ops nominated for Via Satellite’s 2018 Satellite Technology of the Year

STOTY2018_355px.pngMorehead State University announces the Space Science Center’s small satellite technologies and space mission operations have been nominated for Via Satellite’s 2018 Satellite Technology of the Year Award. The nominees are chosen based on innovation, benefit to the industry, and overall disruption to the satellite landscape.  

The Space Science Center at MSU has played a role in establishing aerospace as the number one industry in Kentucky through workforce development and through its contributions to research and development (R&D) in small satellite technologies. The center specializes in micro and nanosatellites and has evolved into an internationally-recognized center for research in these “smallsat” technologies. Smallsats are considered “disruptive technology” by the aerospace industry because they can provide some of the same services as conventional satellites at a fraction of the cost and with short development times. Morehead State is at the forefront of this emerging technology.  

MSU faculty and students have built and launched seven satellites to Earth orbit since 2006 (KySat-2, CXBN, Eagle-1, Eagle-2, UniSat-5, and CXBN-2) with a major mission currently under development (Lunar IceCube). These missions have ranged from technology demonstrations to astrophysics research and have been very successful, gaining international attention. The technology developed here (smallsat vehicle technology including all associated subsystems- flight computers, attitude control systems, power systems and communication systems) has attracted aerospace and telecommunications companies to spin off subsidiaries in Eastern Kentucky and has also inspired small aerospace start-ups to locate in those regions. 

Additionally, the Space Science Center manages a 21-meter ground station that has been funded by NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems to become the first non-NASA affiliated node on the NASA Deep Space Network dedicated to providing ground operation services for interplanetary smallsat missions. Deep Space Station-17 (DSS-17) serves as a test-bed for future NASA mission operations technologies including Delay Tolerant Networking and Opportunistic Multiple Spacecraft per Aperture. Students are intimately involved in the development of the smallsat systems and in the operation of DSS-17. 

The winner of the 2018 Satellite Technology of the Year will be determined by a combination of the Via Satellite editorial team, including Editorial Director Mark Holmes and votes that come directly from industry. The public can vote for MSU Space Science Center’s small satellite technologies and space mission operations online, or onsite at the SATELLITE 2019 event, which takes place May 6-9 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. There will be stations for attendees to vote at the Via Satellite booth (#543 on the show floor).  

“Being nominated for via Satellite’s Satellite Technology of the Year Award is an extraordinary honor for us,” said Dr. Ben Malphrus, executive director of the Space Science Center at MSU. “It is exciting to me that a small university in Appalachian Kentucky has been able to evolve into a world leader in smallsat technologies.  We have been fortunate to launch and operate 7 smallsat missions to date and demonstrate enabling smallsat technologies.  This has only been possible through outstanding partnerships with NASA Centers including JPL, the Goddard Spaceflight Center and Marshall, with aerospace and defense companies including KBRWyle, Mil-Sat, Honeywell, Rajant, and GAUSS and with partnering universities including MIT, the University of Rome and the Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics. These exceptional partners share this honor with us.”  

From the host of the prestigious “Satellite Executive of the Year Award,” Via Satellite has a longstanding history of recognizing the people leading the charge for the satellite industry.  

“Via Satellite is dedicated to recognizing the technology breakthrough that has changed the way the satellite and connectivity industry worked in 2018 and for years to come,” said Holmes. “We’re proud to offer this award and recognize the technology as part of our ongoing commitment to the global satellite industry.” 

Voting closes at noon EDT, Tuesday, May 7. The winner will be announced at a special awards luncheon, sponsored by Peraton, at SATELLITE 2019, Wednesday, May 8, at noon. Tickets for the luncheon may be purchased through SATELLITE 2019 registration. SATELLITE 2019 will take place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, located at 801 Mt Vernon Pl NW, Washington, D.C. 20001. 

For more information on the award, or to vote for MSU’s Space Science Center’s small satellite technologies and space mission operations, visit   

Additional information about MSU’s Space Science Center is available at or by calling 606-783-2381. 

About Via Satellite 
Via Satellite, a monthly publication providing essential news and expert business analysis on the global satellite communications marketplace, including current and evolving applications, infrastructure issues, technology, and business and regulatory developments around the word reaches the most engaged community of satellite professionals and qualified industry decision makers.     

About SATELLITE 2019 
SATELLITE unites 15,000 aerospace and connectivity thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives, engineers, end-users and enthusiasts from over 100 countries for the largest and most important global satellite technology event of the year. Serving all industries looking to better their business operations or enhance their strategy through connectivity, the SATELLITE Conference and Exhibition will take place on May 6-9, 2019 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.