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UCF Researchers Receive $55 Million Award to Lead NASA Mission

April 19, 2013 | WMFE - Researchers from the University of Central Florida are at the forefront of a team that has been granted a $55 million award from NASA to lead a new science mission.

NASA is looking for new ways to explore what it’s just learning – that the earth’s upper atmosphere responds to the cycles of the sun, much like the moon influences the ocean’s tides.

NASA has selected for the award UCF researcher Dr. Richard Eastes' project, which is capable of measuring and tracking changes in the Earth’s upper atmosphere. Eastes’ payload is expected to be launched into orbit in 2017 to do just that. Dale Ketcham, Director of UCF’s Spaceport Research and Technology Institute, says this major accomplishment will help Florida become known as more than just a launch site.

"This is certainly the biggest win for the state of a NASA program, and equally important, it'll be the first time that the state of Florida is leading a NASA science mission and that's not an insignificant development for the state," says Ketcham.

The grant also marks the first Florida university-led NASA science mission.


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