Session

Pre-Conference Workshop Session 3: Year in Review - Research & Academia

Location

Utah State University, Logan, UT

Abstract

Last year, the United States Military Academy (USMA) graduated its first cohort of fully qualified Space Professionals. The Class of 2020 included the first graduates of USMA’s Space and Missile Defense Program. The program was born out of a capability deficit identified by COL Thomas Pugsley, the founder of the Small Satellites Research Group at West Point, over 12 years ago. This was detailed in his paper, Army Space Education: Closing the Gap with Operational Space, presented at the 23rd Annual AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites. This new program has ignited inspiration among the Corps of Cadets. A couple of cadets within Mechanical Engineering major field of study approached the Physics and Nuclear Engineering (PaNE) Department, which administers the Space Science Program, to pitch their idea for a cadet rocket program. As an organization that simulates and encourages cadet creativity and initiative, PaNE happily assigned faculty advisors and the Space Engineering and Applied Research (SPEAR) project was born. The initial effort centered around a national collaborative rocket launch dubbed “Operation Space.” In the summer of 2019 cadets from SPEAR in concert with members of Operation Space from around the country successfully launched a two-stage solid rocket from Spaceport America in New Mexico. Since then, SPEAR at West Point has grown to be much more than a cadet led rocket project, although that is still a large part of it—and big draw for cadet participation. SPEAR now encompasses all space related research and development activities from across the Academy and will soon begin operation as a club activity under both the Mechanical Engineer Club (hosted by the Civil and Mechanical Engineering Department) and the Astronomy Club, (hosted by PaNE). The challenge now is to tend this growing fire of inspiration and to keep it alight as a beacon to bring new cadets and cadet candidates into the space enterprise.

Available for download on Saturday, August 07, 2021

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Aug 7th, 12:00 AM

United States Military Academy (USMA) Space Engineering and Applied Research (SPEAR): A Cadet's Idea Becomes Reality

Utah State University, Logan, UT

Last year, the United States Military Academy (USMA) graduated its first cohort of fully qualified Space Professionals. The Class of 2020 included the first graduates of USMA’s Space and Missile Defense Program. The program was born out of a capability deficit identified by COL Thomas Pugsley, the founder of the Small Satellites Research Group at West Point, over 12 years ago. This was detailed in his paper, Army Space Education: Closing the Gap with Operational Space, presented at the 23rd Annual AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites. This new program has ignited inspiration among the Corps of Cadets. A couple of cadets within Mechanical Engineering major field of study approached the Physics and Nuclear Engineering (PaNE) Department, which administers the Space Science Program, to pitch their idea for a cadet rocket program. As an organization that simulates and encourages cadet creativity and initiative, PaNE happily assigned faculty advisors and the Space Engineering and Applied Research (SPEAR) project was born. The initial effort centered around a national collaborative rocket launch dubbed “Operation Space.” In the summer of 2019 cadets from SPEAR in concert with members of Operation Space from around the country successfully launched a two-stage solid rocket from Spaceport America in New Mexico. Since then, SPEAR at West Point has grown to be much more than a cadet led rocket project, although that is still a large part of it—and big draw for cadet participation. SPEAR now encompasses all space related research and development activities from across the Academy and will soon begin operation as a club activity under both the Mechanical Engineer Club (hosted by the Civil and Mechanical Engineering Department) and the Astronomy Club, (hosted by PaNE). The challenge now is to tend this growing fire of inspiration and to keep it alight as a beacon to bring new cadets and cadet candidates into the space enterprise.