It's a project some Morehead State University students have been working on for years. A satellite they built here at Morehead State was going to be launched into orbit today by NASA. unfortunately, the rocket carrying the satellite never made it to orbit.
At 5:09 eastern time this morning, this NASA blasted off from California. On board was a tiny satellite created by students and faculty from Morehead State University. Unfortunately, about three minutes after launch, it was clear the rocket wouldn't reach orbit.
"Unfortunately the rocket that NASA put together didn't make it to orbit and dropped our satellite and several others in the South Pacific," said Dr. Ben Malphrus of Kentucky Space.
Clay Graves, a Morehead senior who's devoted four years to the project was upbeat about the launch failure.
"Well right now, we're saying it's a 95% success. We met all of our basic comprehensive success criteria. We designed a satellite, it was tested, it was integrated, and we launched a satellite today," Graves says.
Professor Bob Twiggs was the innovator behind the CubeSat design of Morehead's satellite. He says even though the satellite was lost, the mission was a success.
"I don't feel a bit bad, I feel that the day you ship that satellite out the door prepared to go launch it, you've got 98% of the education you want for the students," says Twiggs.
The students say that rocket failures like today's are simply part of space travel and they still have several projects in the pipeline.