Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)


September 14, 2012

Kentucky-built satellite reaches earth orbit


Sept. 14, 2012 —


The remarkable thing is that all of the spacecraft systems were built at the Space Science Center, largely by undergraduate students, who performed the engineering design, machined the mechanical structures, built the electronics, and wrote the flight software,” said Dr. Malphrus.


The satellite will be operated from the Mission Operations Center at MSU that controls the University’s 21 Meter Space Tracking Antenna and other ground station assets. The nominal science mission of the satellite is expected to be approximately one year.

Kentucky Space and its partners, since its inception in 2007, have flown experiments on two space shuttle flights, developed the first CubeLabs on the International Space Station, and launched a CubeSat, KySat-1 in 2010 (but experienced a rocket failure). CXBNrepresents the first satellite built in Kentucky to reach Earth orbit.


CXBN represents a remarkable achievement for a small group of scientists, engineers, and students to have achieved in such a short time,” observed Kris Kimel, president of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation and CEO of KySpace LLC.


The team from the Space Science Center includes Dr. Roger McNeil, dean of MSU’s College of Science and Technology, Eric Thomas, Star Theater director and microfabrication engineer; Jeff Kruth, staff electrical engineer; Michael Combs, space antenna systems engineer; Bob Kroll, space systems engineer; Dr. Tom Pannuti, associate professor of space science; professor Bob Twiggs who invented the CubeSat world-wide nanosatellite standard, and a team of 16 students. Twyman Clements of KySpace directed the extensive space environment testing defined by NASA to meet its launch services program requirements.


CXBN is one of the first CubeSats to perform a significant science mission, proving that the nanosatellite form factor invented by Twiggs in 2004 has evolved into a highly effective small satellite platform capable of performing a wide variety of satellite functions. CXBN will be operated primarily by undergraduate students at MSU who will also reduce, calibrate, and analyze the scientific data it produces. CXBNwas funded internally by Morehead State University and its partners.


For more information, contact Dr. Malphrus at 606-783-2381 or



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