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New Frontiers in Space


Advancing talent and research to explore new frontiers

Through development of next gen research experiments and their space-flight deployment, faculty and students are bringing to light the effects of space-weather events and other phenomenon on Earth’s atmosphere. Pushing boundaries at the intersection of physical and data sciences, analytics, cybersecurity, remote sensing and spacecraft technologies, Virginia Tech has built a best-in-class, comprehensive suite of space-related programs through Space@VT.  

Hands-on, minds-on learning brings together faculty and students across colleges and departments including aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, computer science, and physics to create new models of partnership and discoveries, tools, and technologies for the digital age.


Research experiments sent to space

$15 million

In sponsored research (past 5 years)


Students involved in space-related research projects this year


Citations of
Virginia Tech Space Researchers


For over 50 years, Hokies have played key roles in the world’s advance beyond the clouds, flying as astronauts, leading missions from the ground, and participating in the thousands of support and science roles required to launch humans into space and bring them back safely. One of Virginia Tech's most notable alumni, Chris Kraft '44 (pictured) was the first NASA flight director and considered the father of mission control.



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The Center for Space Science and Engineering Research (Space@VT) gives students experiential learning opportunities through ground-based, drone, sounding rocket and satellite mission projects at the intersection of physics and engineering.   


Aerospace and Oceanic Systems Lab

Housed in the Hume Center for National Security and Technology, the lab focuses on spaceborne systems, including space situational awareness, maritime remote sensing, small satellite design and security/resiliency to counteract the threat to deployed US national security platforms.

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Advanced Propulsion
& Power Lab

One of the nation’s premier sites for research in propulsion and gas turbine power applications. Boasts facilities with several specialized rigs developed for advanced experimentation and testing and to provide cutting-edge research and experiental learning students.

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Advanced Engineering Design Lab (AEDL)

A joint venture between Virginia Tech's College of Engineering and the Aerospace and Ocean Engineering department, the lab houses up to 12 undergraduate design teams in the areas of rocketry, drone technology, aircraft technology, and turbine energy.

Research Facilities

  • Global Navigation Satellite System GNSS Laboratory
  • Space Systems Simulation Laboratory
  • Aeronomy/Remote Sensing Laboratory
  • Advanced Space Computation Laboratory
  • SuperDARN Space Weather Radar Facility
  • Space Plasma Chamber
  • Puri Satellite Ground Network

Research Interests

  • Upper Atmospheric and Space Plasma Physics
  • Space Weather Investigations
  • Spacecraft Dynamics and Control
  • Spacecraft Advanced Propulsion Techniques
  • Spacecraft Environmental Interactions
  • Remote Sensing of the Earth, Sun, Planets, and Astrophysical Bodies

Research Capabilities

  • Satellite Mission Design
  • Space-based Instrument Development
  • Space weather prediction
  • Spacecraft Modeling, Simulation, and Design
  • Physics-based Modeling, Simulation, and High Performance Computing
  • Global Navigation Satellite System Receiver Design
  • Remove Sensing from Ground, Stratospheric Balloon, Rocket, and Satellite Platforms

Growing Tech Talent for Scale

With projects like Space@VT, the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia, significant expansion in STEM programs in Blacksburg, and pioneering new models of teaching and learning, Virginia Tech is meeting the talent needs of industry. With a commitment to the Commonwealth, Virginia Tech is helping double the tech talent pipeline. And, to do that, we are partnering with leading firms to design new programs, offer industry-sponsored, project-based learning at scale, and solving problems that matter.

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Space@VT Industry Affiliates

Space—and the next generation of technologies and applications—is capturing the imagination and career ambitions of students at Virginia Tech. And at the same time, industries in this sector are increasingly in need of diverse talent and research collaborators. In response, the Space@VT Industry Affiliate program is providing a powerful gateway between academia and industry, sparking mutually beneficial research and talent development outcomes.