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Times West Virginian

Scott Zemerick, left, points out diagnostic readings to astrophysicist Max Spolaor, far right, at the NASA Katherine Johnson iV&V Facility. (Times West Virginian photo by Tammy Shriver)

PLEASANT VALLEY, W.Va. — The first satellite built and designed in West Virginia weighs only four pounds, but its significance to the Mountain State weighs a whole lot more.

Dubbed Simulation-to-Flight-1, the satellite was put together at Fairmont’s NASA Katherine Johnson IV&V facility and has been in space for over 140 days. And as TMC Technologies engineer Scott Zemerick, a Beckley native, sat in an office and turned the satellite’s contingency casing over in his hands, watching as the light from the various diagnostic monitors made the solar cells on the casing shine, he seemed in awe of his team’s accomplishment.

“In my career before I came here, I never thought I would get the opportunity to work on an actual aircraft and put it into space,” said Zemerick, the co-lead on the project. “Being from West Virginia, I absolutely love it. To do this type of work in West Virginia is beyond words awesome.”

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