Rowan Engineering successfully launches nanosatellite as part of NASA initiative

Rowan Engineering successfully launches nanosatellite as part of NASA initiative


The Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering successfully launched its MemSat, a cube-shaped nanosatellite developed by faculty and students, into space May 21 from Wallops Island, Virgina, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.

The MemSat launch marked NASA’s seventh round of its CubeSat Launch Initiative through NASA’s Launch Services Program’s Educational Launch of Nanosatellite Missions.

“The launch went quite well and was right on time,” said Dr. John Schmalzel, founding chair of the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering. “Visibility was good, so you could watch the rocket nearly all the way to second- stage burnout. And for the first minute of flight, there was plenty of rumble and roar to let you know there was some serious power at work.”

The satellite launched aboard the Antares rocket and Cygnus spacecraft. Coverage of the launch started at 4 a.m. and can be seen on NASA’s web site at

“We are proud of MemSat’s success in making history for Rowan Engineering,” said Schmalzel, “and also of the hard work and dedication our students have poured into this MemSat project.”

Rowan was the first New Jersey college or university the agency selected to participate in this initiative. Rowan’s MemSat was developed by engineering professors and students in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Schmalzel and Drs. Sangho Shin and Robert Krchnavek, as well as 30 Rowan Engineering Clinic undergraduate students and six graduate students, worked on the project for 2 ½ years. Rowan Engineering awarded this project as “Clinic of the Year” at its 2018 Engineering Clinic Showcase.

For additional information on NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative, visit: