In less than 24 hours last November, the students and engineers of Kentucky Space LLC had three satellites launched to orbit on two different rockets from separate continents. These satellites were no larger than a tissue box but were the culmination of countless hours of engineering, design, frustration, and late nights. This work has paid off as all three are zipping around the earth at 5 miles per second 320 miles up and returning data to ground stations in the state.
The focus that comes with working on such a project results in many unintended consequences, making the team think out of the box to build a functional spacecraft in such a small volume in a short time. The funny thing about the drive towards space is it manifests itself in all kinds of capabilities that have, in turn, prepared two dozen students for a future, innovation-driven economy. The team is on the way towards building an emerging space industry in the state of Kentucky.
This episode of the Innovate Update features Twyman’s talk from IFBG: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Space.