Founding and History

First UGA Hackathon Winners

A team of UGA Students, lead by Caleb Adams, place first at Virgina Tech hacks and become the first team from UGA to win an MLH Hackathon. They designed and built a low cost remote operated telescope. Members of this team would later go on to begin the annual UGA Hackathon, UGA Hacks.

Spacey Sciences LLC Founded

The company Spacey Sciences LLC was formed out of the UGA Entrepreneurship program. The company consisted of Caleb Adams, Nicholas (Hollis) Neel, Kenny Cochran, and Ryan Babaie. The goal of the organization was to launch a small satellite into space. The plan was to fund this venture through a combiniation of smart-telescope sales and a kickstarter. The organization saw some early success with the development of the Spacey Smart Telescope The company would go on to sell several prototype units before dissolution.

Center for Geospatial Research meets with NASA Astronaut

UGA Researchers and Faculty Dr. Deepak Mishra and Dr. David Cotten met with meet with NASA Astronaut Mary Cleave about building a satellite for UGA.

Partnership with the Center for Geospatial Research and Spacey Sciences LLC

Students and faculty meet for the first time. The Spacey Sciences team, now consisting over 18 students, presents intial plans to build a 1U cube-satellite to the researchers at the Center for Geospatial Research. The partnership evolves as two groups find common goals and begin to collaborate on NASA and Air Force Research Lab proposals.

Submission of NASA and AFRL Proposals

With guidance from faculty, the student team works hard to craft two proposals. In the end, two proposals are submitted - one to NASA and the other to the Air Force Research Lab.

Air Force Research Lab Funding Won!

The UGA team receives initial funding from the AFRL University Nanosat Program (UNP) for the Multi-view On-board Computational Imager (MOCI). This is initial funding - not for the launch - but for the design of the MOCI satellite. UGA is now a part of the AFRL's UNP Nanosat 9 (NS-9) program.

NASA Funding is Won!

The UGA team receives funding from NASA’s Undergraduate Student Instrument Project (USIP) for the SPectral Ocean Color (SPOC) mission. The lab now has two missions to design.

Official Founding of the Small Satellite Research Laboratory

Spacey Sciences LLC dissolves in favor of becoming the UGA SSRL, the Small Satellite Research Lab. The Faculty and Students join together into a united front. Caleb Adams, from Spacey Science, becomes Program Manager. Dr. David Cotten becomes the Associate Director, Principal Investigator of the MOCI satellite, Co-Principal Investigator of the SPOC Satellite, and Lab Supervisor. Dr. Deepak Mishra becomes the Director and Principal Investigator of the SPOC Satellite.

The Faculty and Students are now on a united front and a lab-wide vision statement is created:

"Our mission is to place UGA among the top spacefaring universties in the world and to give UGA a permanent presence in outerspace. We aim to teach students how to design, build, and operate spacecraft while providing our faculy with unique space-based data."

Partnership with NASA Ames

The UGA SSRL signs a Space Act agreement with the NASA Ames Research Center. This allows the lab access to NASA resources and researchers.

Lab Expansion

The lab continues to grow as applicants are put through a rigorous 3-round techinal interview process. Progress on SPOC and MOCI continues and the organization grows to 50 students and 12 faculty.

The lab acquires official facilities which include a cleanroom and vacuum chamber.

Year In Review 2016 - 2017

The SSRL releases a year in review video detailing the acomplishments of the organization within the year 2016 - 2017.

MOCI wins UNP NS-9

The UGA SSRL competed with 10 teams from across the country. These teams included the likes of MIT and UC Boulder. UGA won phase A funding, meaning the MOCI mission would fly! We were the first team to win on our first try and the first team to win without an aerospace program.

To learn more, see our year in review video below.

Renewal of Partnership with NASA Ames

The UGA SSRL renews its partnership with the NASA Ames Research Center.

Year In Review 2018 - mid 2019

The SSRL releases a year in review video detailing the acomplishments of the organization within the year 2018 - mid 2019.

SPOC Launches

SPOC launches on October 2nd, 2020 from the NASA Wallops Flight Facility.