Center for Space Research and Assurance (CSRA)

Enhancing graduate education by delivering applied, experimental research through innovative solutions to defense and security challenges in the space domain.

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Success In Space Is Our Priority


At AFIT, they're looking out for you and your career, whereas at a civilian institution, they have no idea about military obligations and time commitments. AFIT professors are focused on students and research in a way that is unmatched in the civilian world. I would not be as capable in my current job without a Master's of Science in Astronautical Engineering. AFIT and only a handful of CI programs offer a space-focused degree rather than just an aerospace degree with space topics.

1Lt Liberty Shockley
MS Astronautical Engineering Alumna
Satellite Test Engineer, USSF


Our collaborative relationships with sponsors like the Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles directorate (AFRL/RV), provide our students with unique opportunities to receive both a hands-on space education, while also making a research contribution to the larger space community.

Dr. Rich Cobb
Associate Director
AFIT's Center for Space Research and Assurance (CSRA)


The two greatest benefits of my education at AFIT were the ability for a hands-on research investigation leveraging modeling and simulation tools as well as collaborating with other senior subject matter experts. This experience was also an opportunity to conduct thesis work within a real, meaningful DoD-based problem-set, rather than a pure academic investigation where the thesis ultimately ends up sitting on a shelf.

Mr. John Claybrook
Civilian MS Astronautical Engineering Alum
Section Chief and Capability Manager
Space Asset Resilience
Arnold Engineering Development Complex

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MS and PhD's Awarded since 2014

AFIT strives to be the student's


choice for academic education


Graduates work in space-affiliated DoD organizations

Welcome to The Air Force Institute of Technology's Center for Space Research and Assurance (CSRA)!

As one of eight research centers within the Graduate School of Engineering and Management, CSRA meets the challenges of preparing our students for the rapidly evolving space domain with an interdisciplinary team comprised of faculty, staff, and students focused on the evolution of defense and intelligence missions in space.

CSRA directly supports the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics' graduate and doctoral programs in astronautical engineering and space systems engineering and certificate programs in space systems and space vehicle design.

Founded in 2012 to enhance AFIT's research based, space-focused graduate education programs and to provide a staff of technical experts across space-related disciplines, CSRA links the AFIT research team with external DoD and Intelligence Community (IC) sponsors while providing laboratory and other resources to support research objectives. In this way, students apply their thesis and dissertation efforts to tackle real-world challenges in the DoD and IC space communities.

CSRA creates and facilitates collaborations with government organizations such as the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) and the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC). We pursue research challenges for these sponsor organizations across space disciplines such as astrodynamics, guidance, navigation, optimal control, propulsion, system architectures, as well as structures and materials. We also enter into agreements with commercial entities like SpaceX, Pumpkin Inc., Analytical Graphics Inc., and Tethers Unlimited Inc. to further our students' space research efforts.

The Center's $12M laboratory and equipment suite enables us to pursue cutting edge research across the space portfolio, giving our students hands-on experience in areas like the design, fabrication and testing of small spacecraft. Recent successes in this area include two AFIT-designed and build spacecraft that were launched into space; SOS in 2019, and SkyPad in 2020. Two more experiments are slated for delivery in 2021 and 2022.

Our faculty and staff continue to earn individual recognition at the Air Force level in STEM research and education while our students regularly earn recognition amongst their peers for their thesis and published research.

Department Of Aeronautics & Astronautics Programs

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Air Force Institute of Technology
2950 Hobson Way
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH 45433-7765
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