United States Air Force Academy

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Azimuth Space Program

Azimuth Summer Program.

Azimuth is a unique summer program for U. S. Air Force Academy cadets as well as Navy midshipmen, Army cadets, and ROTC students considering a commission in the U.S. Space Force.

Azimuth is a three-week joint undergraduate nationwide space education and training program. Azimuth’s overall goal (consistent with the U.S. Air Force Academy) is to inspire men and women to become officers of character, motivated to lead in the Space Force; and (consistent with the Space Training and Readiness Command – STARCOM) to help prepare our future Guardians to prevail in competition and conflict through innovative education, training, doctrine, and test.

Parabolic flight experience

Cadets experience the effects of zero gravity on a modified Boeing 727 aircraft, which performs a series of parabolic flight patterns. At the top of the parabolic arc, power thrust is reduced, and weightlessness takes place. During a steep and gradual climb cadets experience twice the Earth’s gravity. In these moments, cadets perform designed zero-gravity experiments, demonstrating Newton’s Laws of Motion, experiencing free-axis environments, and seeing firsthand angular momentum properties.

SCUBA/neutral buoyancy training

Cadets experience the challenges of weightlessness by operating in a simulated space environment through scuba diving/neutral buoyancy training. Led by scuba-certified instructors, the training takes place at the Academy’s Preparatory School pool.

Rocket engine design and launch

Cadets learn about rocket engine design, production, and launch during a two-day intensive training that culminates in a rocket launching competition where cadets attempt to get their designs to a designated landing site.

Industry and military visits

Cadets study satellite communications, electronic and orbital warfare, and the space-based infrared system at various locations including Cheyenne Mountain Space Force Station, Schriever Space Force Base, and Buckley Space Force Base.

At commercial industry partner sites students learn about advancements in global satellite positioning and examine the technologies of Dream Chaser, an advanced reusable lifting body spacecraft.