Space Science Major

Space Science Major

Space Science

Major

Space science is the science of the space environment as well as the science behind the technology of spacecraft, satellites, and space exploration.

Offered by the Department of Physics and Nuclear Engineering.

Space science studies the space environment, as well as the science behind the technology of spacecraft, satellites, and space exploration. Technologies and systems that society has benefited from include:

  • space weather and terrestrial weather forecasting satellites
  • position, navigation, and timing (PNT) enabled devices such as GPS
  • satellite communications
  • missile defense systems
  • remote sensing systems used to observe our planet, our heliosphere, and beyond our solar system

The program in space science integrates these facets of space-enabled technology to develop a fundamental knowledge that will support a variety of technical interests and activities. The major will provide the cadet with a solid foundation in orbital mechanics, the space environment, attitude determination and control, satellites communications, space structures, astronomy, astrophysics, space physics, remote sensing, and rocket propulsion.  

Space science student outcomes

  1. Apply mathematical and scientific knowledge to identify, formulate, and solve Space Science problems.
  2. Conduct experiments, apply the scientific method, as well as analyze and interpret data.
  3. Function on multidisciplinary teams to effectively formulate, state, describe, summarize, and communicate contemporary space issues, National Strategic Space Policy and associated technology; analyze and examine the professional and ethical aspects of the aforementioned.
  4. Describe and summarize the technology of a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability.
  5. Recognize the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning; explain relevant, contemporary issues and concepts needed as a space-enabled professional.

Space science majors have a lab requirement component. This major offers an honors track. 

To learn more about this area of study, visit the Department of Physics and Nuclear Engineering.

Required Courses

  • EE301 FUNDAMENTALS OF ELEC ENGIN 
  • PH382 INTERMEDIATE ELECTRODYNAMICS 
  • PH384 APPLIED OPTICS  
  • PH485 LASER PHYSICS 
  • SP471 ASTRONAUTICS 
  • SP472 SPACE PHYSICS  
  • SP473 OBSERVATIONAL ASTRONOMY 
  • SP474 ASTROPHYSICS

Sample Electives

  • PH365 MODERN PHYSICS 
  • PH381 INTRMED CLASSICAL MECHANICS
  • EV377 REMOTE SENSING 
  • EV477 ADVANCED REMOTE SENSING 
  • EV478 MILITARY GEOSPATIAL OPERATIONS
  • MA364 ENGINEERING MATHEMATICS  
  • MA365 ADV MATH FOR ENGRS/SCIENTISTS

This major offers an honors track. 

To learn more, view the full Space Science Major Curriculum.

Opportunities are available to perform research at Department of Defense and laboratories that conduct space and missile defense-related research during the summer. Majors can also join the Astronomy Club

Honor Societies:
Golden Key - International Honour Society
Phi Kappa Phi - Oldest and Largest Collegiate Honor Society

To learn more about enrichment for this area of study, visit the Department of Physics and Nuclear Engineeringthe Photonics Research Center or the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command Space and High-Altitude Research Center.