AFIT gains membership in USSPACECOM’s Academic Engagement Enterprise

  • Published
  • By Katie Scott
  • Air Force Institute of Technology

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – The Air Force Institute of Technology was selected to join U.S. Space Command’s Academic Engagement Enterprise.

AFIT joins 16 other universities and research centers working together to enhance the relationship between the Department of Defense and academia.

USSPACECOM’s goal for the program is to provide collaboration opportunities with universities to shape the future workforce, increase space-applied research and innovation, expand space-focused analytic partnerships and enrich the strategic dialogue on space.

AFIT’s defense-focused education and research in the space domain make it exceptionally qualified to join the enterprise, officials said.

“AFIT is uniquely positioned to enhance USSPACECOM’s educational and research goals,” said Lt. Col. Robert Bettinger, head of AFIT’s astronautical engineering degree program. “Our robust space-focused curriculum provides opportunities to advance USSPACECOM’s mission in a variety of areas, to include space vehicle and mission design, cislunar dynamics and orbit modeling and model-based systems engineering.”

To join the enterprise, institutions must be a two-year, four-year or post-graduate degree institution with programs aligned to study and work in space. AFIT’s Graduate School of Engineering and Management offers several certificates and degree programs in space-related fields, including space systems and space vehicle design and master’s and doctoral degree programs in astronautical engineering and space systems.

Founded in 2012, AFIT’s Center for Space Research and Assurance delivers responsive and reliable space capabilities to the DOD and intelligence community. Faculty and students research and produce cutting-edge space technology development, science and experiments to meet future challenges in the areas of astrodynamics, guidance, navigation, optimal control, propulsion, systems architectures, and structures and materials.

“Our graduates have mastered the next-generation STEM skills that will enable them to be key leaders critical to the success of future USSPACECOM endeavors,” said Col. Nate Terry, senior military professor and director of the Center for Space Research and Assurance. “CSRA supports cutting-edge graduate research to provide future Air and Space Force leaders with critical expertise to contribute to upcoming space capabilities.”

For more information about AFIT’s Center for Space Research and Assurance, visit

To learn more about USSPACECOM’s Academic Engagement Enterprise, visit