Kentucky Space designs, builds and operates CubeSats. Its first orbital spacecraft, KySat-1, flew as part of the NASA Educational Launch of Nanosatellites, or ELaNA, program, and was manifested as a secondary payload on the Glory climate mission. ELaNA is managed by NASA’s Launch Services Program at Kennedy. More information about Kentucky Space's participation may be found here.
Glory launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base on March 4, but did not rearch orbit because of a rocket malfunction. Kentucky Space will be talking with NASA to further evaluate the mission and to explore new launch options.
CubeSats are in a class of small research spacecraft called picosatellites Approximately four inches on a side, having a volume of about one quart and weighing no more than 2.2 pounds, KySat-1 also includes a camera to support outreach targeting Kentucky students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The satellite has a 2.4-gigahertz industrial, scientific and medical band radio, which will be used to test high-bandwidth communications in the license-free portion of the S-band.
Exploiting its access to space and the ongoing miniaturization revolution, Kentucky Space has leveraged the CubeSat phenomenon to introduce in partnership with NanoRacks, LLC, the CubLabTM mini-lab on the International Space Station, to work in cooperation with CubeSat creator Prof. Bob Twiggs - now teaching at Morehead State University in Kentucky - to introduce cutting edge ideas in spaceflight, and to sharpen the STEM focus in the commonwealth's high schools.
Other Kentucky Space satellites are now being completed with expected launches in 2011.