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Morehead Takes Delivery of Second Space Antenna

Morehead State University in Kentucky has taken delivery of a second space antenna. The 12-meter tracking antenna was delivered to the university by NASA Deep Space Network operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. There, it will serve as satellite tracking station for low Earth orbiting (LEO) satellite mission support and as a training facility for students studying in the space systems engineering, astrophysics and astronomy programs.

The school already has another system, the 21-meter space tracking antenna. The new antenna will be set on the same hilltop and will build on the success of that larger one, which provides telemetry, tracking, ranging and commanding services for multiple missions. Construction will begin this spring with the goal of having the antenna fully operational by the end of 2022.

Morehead Takes Delivery of Second Space Antenna

Morehead University's 21-meter space antenna will soon share a hilltop with the school's second space antenna, which is 12 meters in size. Source: Morehead State University

"Dozens of students will have the opportunity to perform research projects, thesis projects and special topics courses on various aspects of the antenna system, not only after the instrument is operational but even during the installation and commissioning of the station," said Ben Malphrus, executive director of the university's Space Science Center, in an article about the project. "Space Systems Engineering graduates benefit from hands-on training and from directly supporting NASA space missions. Access to cutting-edge instruments like the 12-meter antenna represents a unique aspect of our program and make our graduates highly competitive in the aerospace workforce."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.