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MSU Space Science Center set to receive $2.5 million for new deep space array

Kennealy Jenkins

Representative Richard White announced that Rowan County would receive over $71 million in state funding for local improvements to infrastructure, transportation, and more. $2.5 million of that will go toward the MSU Space Science Center. Officials said the money will be used to build the Morehead Deep Space Array. Dr. Ben Malphrus, Executive Director of the Space Science Center, said once it’s up and running, the array will provide MSU with many opportunities.

“We’re in a really prime position to have the technology and the experience with our students and staff to operate assets literally on orbit around the moon and on the surface of the moon,” said Dr. Malphrus.

Malphrus said the project will help the Space Science Center improve their services to NASA and other commercial lunar ventures, allowing the tracking and commanding of lunar spacecraft.

“So, it’s an interferometer of several antennas working together that make it act like a giant antenna; and so, it will help us improve our services to NASA and commercial lunar ventures,” said Dr. Malphrus.

Officials said the Morehead Deep Space Array will take 24-28 months to finish. Once it is completed it will serve as an Earth station for satellite mission support and as a training facility for students to gain experience in space mission operations.