Space program will propel UK to higher level

Kernel Editorial Board

It was one small step for man, one giant leap for Kentucky.

With the hard work and ingenuity of a group of students and faculty from the UK Space Laboratory System, the Commonwealth has orbited into space by launching Frontier 1 on March 27.

According to an April 13 Kernel article, the rocket was built entirely in Kentucky and launched into low orbit, about 167 miles above the Earth’s surface.

When students think of UK, space exploration probably doesn’t come to mind.

These students are set to change that mentality.

“I don’t think most people know what goes on here,” said James Lumpp, associate professor and director of the UK Space Systems Laboratory. “I doubt that there’s another university in the U.S. or in the world that has as many missions going on as we do here.”

While the program has been around since 2006, the successful missions and accomplishments this group has had are beginning to set them out among the crowd.

Good thing, too. It can only be a boon to this university if it continues to support a diversified spectrum of academic studies.

Students know they can come to UK to study English or biology. Now, instead of leaving the Commonwealth, prospective freshmen will be aware of the opportunities they have to study and get involved with missions in outer space.

In November, the UK Space Science Laboratory and two other schools will take part in launching NASA’s first student-built satellites. With a high-powered transmitter and a camera, students and others will be able to interact with the satellite as it orbits in space.

Hopefully, this program continues to grow and gain even more notoriety as it completes more successful missions. UK can only gain from supporting and contributing to the success of the UK Space Science Laboratory.