United States Air Force Academy

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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 United States 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.

Our program is the best in the country, as the #1 Aeronautical / Astronautical program on the 2017 U.S. News Best Colleges list.

Astronautics Faculty and Staff


Astronautical Engineering

Systems Engineering – Astronautics Depth

The Astronautical Engineering and Systems Engineering majors are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org.

Department News News From Around The Department

October 12, 2017

This is Why the Air Force Academy Is Leading the Way in Space

By Mark Kuykendall / Oct. 12, 2017 U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, COLO – The United States Air Force Academy is developing leaders who will operate at the cutting edge of warfare technology, and who are prepared for a modern battlefield where space is a critical warfighting domain. Here are five numbers that show how the Academy is leading the way in space, and into an increasingly complex future of innovation and discovery: 2: Number of USAFA cadets named Rhodes Scholars after completing the FalconSAT senior capstone engineering program. “The FalconSAT experience is invaluable to the development of future Air Force leaders,”...

Continue Reading This is Why the Air Force Academy Is Leading the Way in Space

May 2, 2017

Cadets showcase FalconSAT program at end-of-semester review

Ray Bowden/May 2, 2017 Cadets gave an end-of-semester review on the Air Force Academy’s Falcon Satellite Program to faculty and the school’s space-community partners April 28. The FalconSAT program is the Academy’s small-satellite engineering program. Cadets’ design, built, test and operate satellites, guided by faculty and technical-staff as part of a year-long senior capstone design experience. The program is administered by the Academy’s Space Systems Research Center under the direction of the Astronautics Department. Col. Martin France, head of the Academy’s Astronautics Department, said the review served several purposes. “The cadets get the opportunity to hone their briefing skills in...

Continue Reading Cadets showcase FalconSAT program at end-of-semester review

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2354 Fairchild Drive, Suite 6H-225
United States Air Force Academy, CO 80840
(719) 333-4110 | DSN 333-4110