Kentucky successfully launched a spacecraft Saturday, putting a four-pound device 270 kilometers above the Earth's surface.
Frontier 1 was launched at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia's eastern shore aboard a NASA rocket, said Kris Kimmel, president of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation, managing partner of the nonprofit Kentucky Space consortium.
"This is really a significant accomplishment," Kimmel said. "This spacecraft was built entirely by Kentucky students, and all systems worked perfectly."
Frontier 1 was designed and built in Kentucky to test hardware and software systems that will be flown on an orbital satellite, KentuckySat 1, set to launch in November with NASA's Glory Mission. After about 10 minutes in space, it reentered Earth's atmosphere and burned up, as expected.
"This exciting announcement shows that Kentucky is among the elite in innovation and scientific advancement," Gov. Steve Beshear said.
"This unique partnership among Kentucky's higher education institutions, state government and private industry shows that the Commonwealth is a bastion of high-tech, 21st century learning, as well as limitless economic opportunity," Beshear said.
Saturday's launch can be seen online at www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXEZnlB3Ddw.