MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — West Virginia University’s new West Virginia Small Satellite Center of Excellence (WVSSCE) is getting $911,708 in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan.
According to a press release from Sen Joe Manchin’s Office (D, WV), the money will support salaries, supplies, travel, equipment and contractual services for the WVSSCE.
The university launched the WVSSCE Wednesday after the funding was announced. According to WVU’s website, the WVSSCE will serve as a hub for small satellite research, development, testing, production and commercialization.
This comes after STF-1, the first spacecraft made in West Virginia, was launched in 2018. WVU said the small satellite is still transmitting up in space more than 1,300 days later when small satellites’ usual lifespan is only three months.
Now, WVU says the WVSSCE will work with other West Virginia businesses and organizations to develop the state’s second small satellite, which will include a flight computer, radio, solar panels and cells, a camera and other data detection and collection instruments, as well as slots for computer cards that carry the clients’ instructions for the satellite.
NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium Assistant Director Candy Cordwell said the center will create 15 new jobs immediately, and that within three to five years, high-wage staff positions will increase to more than 30 jobs in administration, business development, education and advanced aerospace manufacturing.