Morehead, KY. – NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, and staff from the offices of U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers visited Morehead State University for a tour of the University’s Space Science Center and conversation with faculty members, researchers and students engaged in NASA partnerships.
Morehead State offers one of only a few space science programs in the country. The Space Science Center is renowned for research in nanosatellite technologies and was named best aerospace research and development center in Kentucky by Southern Business and Development magazine. MSU has been involved in the launch of five NASA-funded satellites: CXBN, CXBN-2, Lunar ICEcube, Ky-Sat 2 and the DM-7 Flight Demonstration.
On their tour of the facility, Adminstrator Bridenstine and Rep. Massie interacted with students working on miniature space-ready satellites, observed the operations of MSU’s space communication systems, and observed the 21-M space tracking antenna.
Following the tour, Bridenstine spoke as part of the W. Terry McBrayer Presidential Lecture Series in Government and Leadership. Bridenstine discussed how NASA will reach the moon through its Artemis program. The Gateway, a reusable command and service module, will be in orbit for 15 years. The move to go with commercial partners will diversify production, allowing NASA to focus on development specific to the government sector, Bridenstine said.
“We’re going to go with commercial partners, we’re going to go with international partners,” he said. “We are building a coalition of nations for a sustainable return to the moon. We’re going, and we’re staying.”
Bridenstine added, Morehead State is an important partner in the country’s return to the moon and space science innovation.
“MSU is an amazing university that provides a lot of talent to NASA and to contractors serving NASA,” he said. “Morehead State’s partnership with NASA on the Deep Space Network will prove to be invaluable.”
The McBrayer lecture series is named in honor of MSU alumnus W. Terry McBrayer (59), who provided a generous gift to the University which supports the lecture series and student scholarships. McBrayer is a lobbyist, attorney and former politician in Lexington. He is a senior partner for the law firm McBrayer PLLC and lead lobbyist at MML&K Government Solutions, both founded by McBrayer. A native of Greenup County, he graduated from MSU and attended the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville. He was elected to the MSU Alumni Hall of Fame in 1966 and was awarded an honorary doctoral degree in 1975.