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Engineering Division


Cadets learn the fundamentals of satellites, rockets, and other space systems as well as how to design them to contribute to our national security and economy. This experience is enhanced by senior capstone projects and independent and sponsored research opportunities with a variety of government and industry partners.


In 1958, the same year NASA was formed, the Department of Astronautics was established at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Our cadets are rocket scientists, and our motto is “Learning Space by Doing Space.” We have designed, built, and launched rockets to the edge of space. We have designed and built satellites that are currently in Earth orbit and are fully funded by Air Force Research Laboratory to do the same with two more satellites over the next three years. Our cadets, from fourth year to first year, operate our ground station, controlling satellites that contribute to our national security and our understanding of the space environment. Our graduates are now conducting space-related research, acquiring our next generation of space systems, and operating our current space assets in defense of the nation.

The Aeronautical Engineering and Systems Engineering majors are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

Astronautics Faculty and Staff

Department News News From Around The Department

April 6, 2022

Cadets launch the future of space imagery

Falcon Neuro is hosted on the STP-H7/8 external payload in outer space. The payload was photographed by external cameras on the International Space Station. (Photo credit: NASA) By Public Affairs/Strategic Communications Photos by Joshua Armstrong/Trevor Cokley U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. – Cadet research projects at the United States Air Force Academy are frequently launched into low-Earth orbit, giving cadets ample opportunities to learn space by doing space. An ongoing project is Falcon Neuro, with cadets and faculty using neuromorphic cameras attached to the International Space Station to study lighting across the Earth and electrical discharges in space known as...

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July 13, 2020

USAFA Recognizes Class of 2020 Top Graduate

On Thursday 9 July Lt Gen Silveria recognized the United States Air Force Academy Class of 2020 Top Graduate, 2Lt Zack Bailey during a small ceremony in Polaris Hall. Lt Bailey was also recognized as the Outstanding Cadet in Mechanical Engineering, the Outstanding Cadet in Engineering and the Outstanding Cadet in Academic Performance. Lt Bailey is a recipient of the Marshall Scholarship and is on his way to King’s College London in the fall. Congratulations Lt Bailey!

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June 5, 2020

Academy announces new data science major

By Jennifer Spradlin, June 5, 2020 U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. – Data + analysis = command decision. This simple equation can be applied to most modern military action and shows how one element must be in concert with the other to create the right sight picture for commanders. “It’s not enough to have more data than our adversaries. It’s how we understand the information and use it at the speed of relevance that matters,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein. To better prepare future officers in the Air and Space forces, the Academy has created a data science...

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United States Air Force Academy, CO 80840
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