Kentucky: Council on Postsecondary Education

Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation and Council on Postsecondary Education
Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation receives NASA funds for planetary sub-surface space exploration

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, January 25, 2006  
Contact Information:  NASA Contact:
Gregory K. Schmidt, Associate Director for Strategic Planning, Astrobiology and Space Research Directorate, NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, California.
(650) 604-2611 or (831) 775-2077

KSTC Contact:
Kris W. Kimel, President, Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation
(859) 233-3502 ext. 223 or (859) 229-6161

CPE Contact:
Sue Patrick
502-573-1555, ext. 308

        (Frankfort, KY.)--The Commonwealth’s role in space exploration took another step forward today when the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation announced a $40,000 grant from the NASA Ames Research Center. The grant will support research and development of an execution strategy for NASA’s new Institute for Sub-Surface Exploration.

        The core mission of ISSE is to advance the science, technology and processes needed for planetary sub-surface exploration access and development. The operational headquarters for ISSE is the NASA Ames Research Center, located in Mountain View, Calif., in the heart of Silicon Valley.

        “This initiative is part of Kentucky’s broader efforts to aggressively expand its R&D and innovation capacity--- paving the way for the creation of dynamic new Kentucky companies and good-paying jobs,” said Kris Kimel, KSTC president.

        “KSTC, through its partnership with the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, is a major player in this emerging institute,” added Kimel.

        The Commonwealth, through KSTC, entered into a partnership with NASA Ames in 2004 to focus primarily in sub-surface exploration. As part of this partnership, KSTC operates an Advanced Concepts Office at the NASA Ames Research Center.

        Kentucky’s recognized expertise in mining, materials processing and geosciences places it in a position to emerge as an important player in the area of planetary sub-surface exploration, according to Greg Schmidt, associate director for strategic planning and directorate of astrobiology and space research directorate for NASA Ames.

        “NASA has keen interest in exploring the lunar and Martian sub-surface. Because of Kentucky’s strong experience in mining and related technologies, we're very excited to partner with the Commonwealth and KSTC in future space exploration,” he stated.
        Dr. Allyson Handley, Kentucky’s senior policy advisor for postsecondary economic development initiatives, applauded the development.

        “KSTC and Kris Kimel have facilitated a relationship and presence at NASA Ames that bodes well for Kentucky’s emerging technology research and development,” she said.

        Handley added, “This grant supports Governor Fletcher’s agenda to aggressively move Kentucky forward in the realm of commercialized university research.”

        In addition to direct benefits of sub-surface exploration are the potential spin-offs centering on the development of new technologies, processes and products that could be used on Earth. For example, the knowledge and insights gained in developing mining and drilling-related technologies could be applied to coal and other mining machines and processes that could have important long-range benefits to business and industry.

        Technologies involved in sub-surface exploration span a range of areas, many of which may possess important terrestrial applications.

For additional information about ISSE, contact Kris Kimel at or call (859) 233-3502 ext. 223.

Kentucky's postsecondary education system encompasses eight public institutions and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, numerous independent institutions and Kentucky Adult Education. The system represents 231,612 students, 538,866 Kentucky alumni and 294,896 GED recipients. When Kentuckians earn postsecondary degrees, their skills improve and their wages go up; they are more likely to lead healthy lives and be engaged in their communities; and they build better futures for themselves and their families.


Last Updated 1/26/2006