Discovery Magazine

FAA Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation - Task 296 Outreach

The proposed project of "OUTREACH - Commercial Space Transportation" has the following objectives:

  • To provide guidance and comments on current COE CST research topics, issues, relevance and impact.
  • To examine and comment on future COE CST research program strategies, rationale and content.
  • To provide oral and written reports to the COE CST Executive Committee.
  • To disseminate activities of the International Space University Space Studies Program 2012 held at Kennedy Space Center and Florida Tech, including the:
    • development, production, distribution, and
    • presentation of the projects directly relevant to the commercial space transportation industry:
      1. ISU SSP 2012 "Spaceports" Team Project
      2. ISU SSP 2012 "Orbital Debris" Team Project

The research conducted within FAA Commercial Space Transportation [AST] is broken into four major research areas:

  1. Space Traffic Management & Operations
  2. Space Transportation Operations
  3. Technologies & Payloads
  4. Human Spaceflight
  5. Space Transportation Industry Viability

Each of these major research areas are divided into sub-areas and these, in turn, are further subdivided into lower level  divisions as described in the FAA Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation Annual Report - Executive Summary, linked on this page.


The nine Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation member universities are:

  1. Florida Institute of Technology
  2. Florida State University (FSU)
  3. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
  4. New Mexico State University
  5. Stanford University
  6. University of Central Florida
  7. University of Colorado at Boulder
  8. University of Florida
  9. University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

The COE Commercial Space Transportation member universities provide a comprehensive distribution of geographical coverage representing the entire Commercial Space Transportation industry, including the top four civil space states (California, Colorado, Texas and Florida) and New Mexico, the state leading the suborbital industry as well as significantly prominent in military space activity. Combined, the nine universities bring over 50 other government, industry and academic organizations as research partners.