Smallsat Launch Contract Signed Between Vaya Space + Athens State University

Athens State University

Vaya Space and Athens State University have agreed to launch a smallsat that is now in development and is planned for placement into LEO in 2023.

Additionally, they have formed a business-education partnership to promote scientific, technological, and research collaboration; foster internship opportunities for students; and encourage life-long continuous learning and professional development opportunities for Vaya Space employees.

Designated STEM-SAT1, the cubesat mission objective will be to collect and store Low Frequency (LF) and Very Low Frequency (VLF) signals, normally blocked by the Earth’s atmosphere. Data will then be re-transmitted by Very High Frequency (VHF) signals to ground stations for analysis. Re-transmitted data will also be available to amateur radio astronomers around the globe, who can receive these unencrypted VHF signals.

The smallsat will be carried into LEO by Vaya Space aboard its Dauntless™ orbital launch vehicle as a ride-share option, powered by the STAR-3DHybrid Propulsion System, using patent pending technology that converts recycled thermoplastics into “greener” rocket fuel. The scheduled launch date has not been announced, but is expected no later than the fourth quarter of 2023.

Athens State University Professor, Dr. J. Wayne McCain, said, “The cubesat is being designed and built by Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) students from this university, in collaboration with Florida Tech, Vanderbilt, Roane State, University of North Alabama, AMSAT, Alabama Academy of Science, Spark Academy, and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Chapters.”

Jack Blood, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Vaya Space, said, “This is really a win-win scenario. It enables us to team on research efforts, share technology, generate opportunities for students to gain relevant industry experience, provide commercial launch services for affordable access to space, and develop the next generation of talent needed to sustain our success.”

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