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Vaya Space and Athens State University Sign CubeSat Launch Contract

Updated: May 17, 2022

(From left to right) Dr. Phillip Way – Athens State University President; Dr. J. Wayne McCain – Athens State University Professor; Jack Blood – Vaya Space Vice President; and Rob Fabian – Vaya Space President

COCOA, Fla., July 22, 2021 ( - Vaya Space and Athens State University announced an agreement to launch a small satellite (CubeSat) now in development, planned for placement into low earth orbit in 2023. In addition, 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.

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."

Designated STEM-SAT1, the CubeSat mission 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 retransmitted by Very High Frequency (VHF) signals to ground stations for analysis. Retransmitted data will also be available to amateur radio astronomers around the globe, who can receive these unencrypted VHF signals.

The CubeSat will be carried into low earth orbit by Vaya Space aboard its Dauntless™ orbital launch vehicle as a ride-share option, powered by the STAR-3D™ Hybrid 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 fourth quarter of 2023.

Jack Blood, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Vaya Space commented, "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."

Athens State University - Founded in 1822, Athens State is Alabama's oldest educational institution of higher learning. As one of only a few "upper division" universities in the entire country, Athens State is a destination for transfer students and students with more than 36 hours of credit who may have paused their education and are seeking to finish their degree. Offering over 50 undergraduate degree programs and options in addition to graduate programs, Athens State focuses on providing affordable, flexible, and high-quality options for all learners. At Athens State, we understand it isn't how you began your education that matters. It's how you finish. And a strong finish is only the beginning.

About Vaya Space:  Vaya Space is a hybrid rocket propulsion and SmallSat launch company leveraging advances in additive manufacturing to redefine the cost, performance, environmental impact, and safety of space access. With a build, integrate, and launch-ready cycle of less than 30 days, Vaya Space is capable of launching payloads greater than 1,000 kg into Low Earth Orbit (LEO), and payloads greater than 600 kg into Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO). Positioned to serve the global market, Vaya Space is now accepting launch reservations for 2023.

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