Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – Morehead State University is being hailed as the “savior” of NASA’s recent lunar landing. U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) invited Dr. Ben Malphrus, Executive Director of Morehead State University’s Space Science Center, to Capitol Hill on Wednesday for a hearing with NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, who expressed his gratitude for the university’s assistance in completing NASA’s most recent space exploration on the moon’s south pole. 
“Recently, Morehead State University staff and students stepped up to help NASA during the Odysseus robotic Moon landing – the first ever private spacecraft to land on the moon. Working with NASA, Morehead State was able to assist with establishing a command bridge to overcome communication issues after challenges in the landing process,” said Chairman Rogers, Dean of the House. “This amazing story is just one example of the important work Morehead State is doing, in a part of the country not traditionally known for space innovations. I am so proud of the incredible work being done at MSU to build the next generation of the space workforce to ensure the United States remains the global leader in space.”
“Morehead State was the savior of our historic mission to the moon,” said NASA Administrator Nelson. “Morehead State has the ability to communicate commercially, and Morehead State also has the ability to communicate with government missions through our Deep Space Network. It’s symbolic of how commercial and government can work together.” 
Chairman Rogers and NASA Administrator Nelson recognized Dr. Malphrus during the hearing to extend gratitude for Morehead State University’s successful efforts to rescue the lunar mission. 
“I’m really proud of our students and our staff at Morehead State. We were actively writing code in the middle of the night to restore communications with the lunar lander, Odie, ensuring that this important mission on the Moon's south pole did not fail,” said Dr. Malphrus. “It is an honor for our Space Science program to be recognized on Capitol Hill. We’re doing incredible work with NASA and private aerospace leaders to keep America on the forefront of space exploration.” 
Congressman Rogers recently secured two community project funding earmarksto support space science programs in Eastern Kentucky, including $650,000 for STEM education programs at the Challenger Learning Center of Kentucky in Hazard, and nearly $10 million for Morehead State University to improve its Space Tracking Stations that provide support for NASA programs. The funding was signed into law in March. 
For more information about Congressman Rogers’ work in Washington and at home in Kentucky, visit and follow him on social media.

Click here to watch the NASA FY25 budget hearing. 


Congressman Rogers, Dr. Malphrus, Sen. Nelson met before the hearing began