At 05:09:43 EST Friday March, 4 2011 the Taurus-XL carrying the NASA Glory Satellite and the Kentucky Satellite (KySat-1) lifted off from Vandenberg Air force base in southern California. At 05:15 EST (T+6:00) the NASA launch director declared a “Launch Contingency” indicating that the vehicle would not achieve orbit.
Despite the fact that the KySat-1 Satellite failed to reach the ultimate goal of orbiting Earth, the team successfully delivered a fully tested and flight qualified satellite that would have performed it’s mission flawlessly had it achieved orbit. While the team is truly disappointed about the failure of the launch vehicle, this event underscores the complexity and the challenges inherent in space exploration. The
experience gained in developing the satellite, qualifying it to NASA’s
standards, and preparing it for launch has been invaluable and it is
this experience that will carry the team forward as we continue to
strive to extend Kentucky’s presence in space