Science & Technology

USU Joins U.S. Space Command as Academic Partner

By Sydney Dahle |

A Vulcan VC2S rocket launches from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. USU has joined the United States Space Command as an academic partner dedicated to expanding space-applied research and innovation.

Utah State University has been selected as a member of the United States Space Command University Academic Engagement Enterprise. The goal is to foster relationships between academic institutions and the initiative.

“We are honored to have this opportunity to be a part of the U.S. Space Command,” said Steve Larson, director of industry relations for the USU College of Engineering. “Many cutting-edge institutions are a part of this project, and we look forward to contributing to this innovative partnership.”

The U.S. Space Command, working with allies and partners, plans, executes and integrates military space power into multi-domain global operations in order to deter aggression, defend national interests and, when necessary, defeat threats.

Space Command has four key goals for the program:

  • Engage the future workforce.
  • Increase space applied research and innovation.
  • Expand space-focused analytic partnerships.
  • Enrich the strategic dialogue on space.

"It is crucial to recognize that a significant portion of aerospace funding is closely linked to the military and intelligence sectors,” Larson said. “There exists a common language within these domains, and we need to reinforce the importance of aligning our educational efforts.”

Academic institutions that join the USSPACECOM Academic Engagement Enterprise will receive defense-level space learning outcomes, invitations to exclusive events such as webinars and symposiums, access to guest speakers on a variety of space subjects and the chance to engage in collaborative research, technology integration and student internships.

USU was invited by Space Command to apply to the program, which was created in 2022. The initiative has particular relevance to USU’s aerospace department, but the partnership applies university-wide.


Sydney Dahle
Public Relations Specialist
College of Engineering


Steve Larson
Director of Industry Relations
College of Engineering
(435) 797-5548


Engineering 334stories STEM 156stories Space 139stories Partnerships 55stories

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