Message from the Chair
Space affects government, business and culture. Many countries project military power, commercial interests and national image through space missions. The Department of Astronautical Engineering (ASTE) in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering focuses on meeting the educational needs of the space industry, spacecraft operators, and government space research and development centers. The program offers the full set of degrees in Astronautical Engineering.
Since its founding in 2004, numerous students received their Bachelor of Science degrees and achieved their PhDs. The department's flagship Master of Science program also reaches students nationally as well as in Canada and stationed at military installations across the globe through distance education. This year ASTE has reached a milestone, awarding more than 500 Master of Science degrees since its inception.
In addition to participation in faculty-led research projects, ASTE undergraduate and graduate students are given the opportunity for hands on learning and research in the Rocket Propulsion (highlighted below) and Liquid Propulsion Labs and developing space technology at the Space Engineering Research Center (SERC).
Commercial space companies already dominate activities in space. Recent entrepreneurial initiatives point to its spectacular growth in the future and traditional NASA programs continue to advance space science. Human spaceflight will also expand beyond low earth orbit as the United States soon formulates its long-term space exploration strategy. National security will continue to rely on indispensable capabilities of space systems for country defenses in a turbulent world.
Our unique department provides space engineering students with the knowledge and training necessary for exciting technical careers and leadership positions in the American space enterprise.
Mike Gruntman, PhD