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Space Science Center

At the heart of MSU's Department of Physics, Earth Science and Space Systems Engineering is the Ronald G. Eaglin Space Science Center (SSC). The facility houses state-of-the-art equipment and laboratories that will give you valuable hands-on learning experiences. The Space Science Center is home to MSU's Program of Distinction, the Bachelor of Science in Space Systems Engineering.

MSU's Space Science Center was recently named the best aerospace research and development center in Kentucky by Southern Business and Development magazine, beating out research and development programs at Eastern Kentucky University, the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville.

The SSC has become an important center for research in nanosatellite technologies. CubeSats are "loaf of bread" or smaller-sized nanosatellites that have become the defacto world-wide standard for small satellite technologies. CubeSats are 10 x 10 x 10 cm (or by 20 or 30 cm in length) satellites that weigh under 1 kg per unit. The recent evolution of micro/nanotechnologies and microelectronics has facilitated the development of these inexpensive, highly capable small satellites that are now being flown by NASA, the U.S. Department of Defense, aerospace companies and universities around the globe. CubeSats, including those developed at the SSC, are used for a wide variety of applications ranging from tactical defense to scientific research (including astrophysics research and Earth phenomena and resource monitoring) to practical applications ranging from communications to relaying data from ground sensors. CubeSats are considered "disruptive technology" by the world-wide 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 - and MSU is at the forefront of this emerging technology.

The SSC is a $15.6 million support facility containing classrooms, laboratories and offices. The two-story, state-of-the-art building encompasses 45,000 square feet of floor space and 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 mimic the electromagnetic environment of space; a rooftop antenna test range; a space systems development laboratory and a digital Star Theater.

Students and faculty have used the Center's outstanding facilities to develop, test, validate and operate spacecraft systems. As a student, you will be actively involved in designing, constructing and testing satellites before they are launched into space, and you will monitor and control them after they are launched. You’ll also have the opportunity to gain real-world experience by providing tracking and telemetry services to MSU’s aerospace clients.

Our programs support the Kentucky Space Program, which works to create a cottage aerospace industry in the state.


You Are Our Greatest Mission

While the Department of Engineering, Earth Science and Space Systems Engineering seeks to make scientific innovations and discoveries, our greatest mission is to help you succeed, not only as a student, but also as a professional scientist or engineer. While you study at MSU, you’ll have the chance to play an active role in applied research in several exciting areas, including: 
  • Space systems development 
  • Small satellites and cubesats 
  • Micro & nano technologies 
  • Space communication systems

Summer Programs

The Space Science Center is home to Space Trek, an annual summer camp for high school girls interested in space science and engineering.