A new, $15.6 million research and instructional support space science center is being built in eastern Kentucky at Morehead State University.
Ben Malphrus, professor of space science at Morehead State University, said breaking ground on the center was “a dream come true” after years of shuttling from one temporary headquarters to another.
The facility will be the keystone of the Ronald G. Eaglin Space Science Center.
“We’ve been hoping for a new facility for years. We’ve outgrown our previous facilities,” Malphrus said before the groundbreaking ceremony last week.
MSU’s space science program, one of only four in the United States, will use the facility for research and development for research and classes. The two-story, 45,000-square-foot facility will include a control center for a 21-meter space antenna system, laboratories, an advanced computing facility, classrooms and offices.
The center is named for former MSU President Ronald G. Eaglin, who presided at the commissioning of the $3 million space antenna system.
When finished, it will compare favorably with facilities at the major universities that have similar programs, Malphrus said.
The control center will remotely operate several antenna systems utilized for satellite mission support and research in radio frequency astrophysics.
A 121-seat theater will be a classroom for space science students, visiting schoolchildren and the public. It will host planetarium shows, NASA videos and IMAX movies.
“This exciting project is a tribute to the vision and imagination of those who conceived the space science program,” MSU President Wayne D. Andrews said.
Malphrus said he believes the facility will aid in recruitment and retention for the space science program, which emphasizes research in telecommunications and electronics for space applications and fundamental astrophysics research.
Information from: The Independent, http://www.dailyindependent.com
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