Distinguished Professor Yahya Rahmat-Samii’s co-authored paper with colleagues from JPL entitled, “Integration, Test, and On-Orbit Operation of a Ka-band Parabolic Deployable Antenna (KaPDA) for CubeSats” won the Spacecraft Structures Best Paper Award from SciTech 2020 of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). Through fruitful collaborations with JPL engineers, a research and technology development effort attempted to enhance CubeSat communication capabilities, with one of the key components being the Ka-band parabolic deployable antenna (KaPDA). The success of this antenna design with ambitious goal of fitting a 42 dB, 0.5 meter, 35 GHz antenna in a 1.5U canister (see the figure representing the deployment sequences) was considered a pivotal segment of the overall project at JPL. Our winning paper discusses the process of designing, building, integrating, and operating the flight antenna providing an enabling technology for RainCube mission, the first Earth Science CubeSat to have an active instrument. RainCube was launched in May of 2018, making KaPDA the second deployable parabolic antenna to fly on a CubeSat and the first of its kind to operate at Ka-band enabling a number of opportunities for high rate, deep space antenna communications and remote sensing science (see the figure representing the actual on orbit deployment of the antenna).