Space

Space Object Intelligence focuses on studying the movement of objects in space and managing space traffic. The University of Arizona’s desert environment boasts uniquely clear views of the sky, from the Sonoran Desert to the many mountain ranges that run through Tucson, making it one of the best locations for observing and researching space. UArizona possesses a diverse faculty and myriad of laboratories and observation centers that are central to the innovation of the space frontier. With nine departments involved in the Space Object Behavioral Sciences initiative, UArizona takes a leading role in the protection and exploration of space capabilities.

Our Space Competencies

Space Situational Awareness (SSA)

The goal of Space Situational Awareness is to warn, protect, or interrupt space capabilities and activities that could have detrimental effects on the earth’s surface. SSA provides leaders with intelligence to make decisions regarding the blossoming space environment. The Remote Sensing Group at the College of Optical Sciences has led to participation in round-robin laboratory calibrations with national laboratories and sensor manufacturers. The work also includes strong interactions with NASA and space agencies from other countries.

Remote Sensing

University of Arizona’s Earth Dynamics Observatory (EDO) combines strengths in space exploration, instrumentation, and earth sciences in order to learn more about our planet. EDO specializes in collecting information about Earth from space in order to provide new information about how Earth systems work, how they are changing, and how humans might anticipate and respond to changes.

Observing

The University of Arizona was the first university to head science operations for a NASA planetary mission–the Phoenix Mars Lander–and leads the billion-dollar OSIRIS-REx mission to sample an asteroid. In addition, The Space and Terrestrial Robotic Exploration (SpaceTREx) Laboratory at University of Arizona’s Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Department develop systems engineering design and control solutions for space, planetary and asteroid exploration, using small spacecraft, robots and sensor network devices. Research is focused on developing enabling technologies for extreme environment exploration, interplanetary CubeSat explorers and on-orbit servicing spanning spacecraft constellations, propulsion, power and communications.

Deep Space 1 

Originally designed to test a dozen new technologies including the use of an ion engine for spacecraft propulsion, Deep Space 1 far outstripped its primary mission goals by also successfully flying by the asteroid 9969 Braille and comet Borrelly. The flybys produced what are still considered some of the best images and data ever collected from an up-close encounter with an asteroid or comet.

Space Object Intelligence Facts

Space Object Intelligence research helps us understand the impact of all objects in space. Because this is becoming a common practice among military, civil, and commercial industries, research is an integral part in understanding the effects that objects like satellites have in space.

4,987

satellites

4,987 satellites revolved around the Earth’s orbit in 2019 according to UNOOSA

52%

asteroids

52% of all known near-earth asteroids & comets were discovered by the University of Arizona

20

telescopes

UArizona leads or partners in running over 20 unique telescopes around the world

1st

mission

Phoenix Mars Mission was the first mission in NASA’s Scout Program

Space Laboratories and Research Centers

With our world-renowned observatories and telescopes, and pre-eminent departments and centers carrying out research in astronomy, planetary and space sciences, UArizona is perfectly positioned to take a leading role in protecting space capabilities and services from loss, interruption and degradation.

Awards in Space Sciences

Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) investments enhance the research, academic and technology capabilities of MSIs through multiyear grants. Awards assist faculty and students in research and provide authentic STEM engagement related to NASA missions.

Space News

UArizona-Led Mission to Io Selected as Finalist for NASA Discovery Program

If selected as the winner, the spacecraft mission to Jupiter’s volcanic, vibrant moon will determine whether a magma ocean lurks beneath its surface.

Modifications Elevate Wind Tunnel Capacity – From Subsonic to Hypersonic

Department of Defense funding totaling $1.4 million is helping aerospace engineers expand experiments on vehicles traveling at the speed of sound and much faster.

Astronomers Bid Farewell to Spitzer, NASA's Coldest Space Telescope

On Jan. 30, NASA switched off the Spitzer Infrared Space Telescope permanently. Part of NASA’s “Great Observatories” fleet, the telescope featured instruments and technology developed at UA and has lifted the veil on hidden objects in nearly every corner of the universe.

Star Wars Science

“Star Wars” Science is a series of four stories with University of Arizona researchers applying real-world science to the classic American sci-fi saga. The series features interviews with researchers in optics, space systems engineering, robotics, and psychology…

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UA Researchers Track Chinese Space Station as it Falls to Earth

As Chinese space station Tiangong-1 falls to Earth, UA astronomer Vishnu Reddy and aerospace engineering graduate student Tanner Campbell are tracking its path using technology they developed…

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Undergraduate Students Build Telescopes to Track Space Junk

Using less than a third of the money it’d take to buy them off the shelf, five UA undergraduates built two telescopes for satellite observation—one of which will live in a once abandoned observatory…

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CCC

On-Campus Office
1110 E South Campus Drive
Saguaro Hall, Room 210
Tucson, AZ 85721

520-621-3811

CCC

Off-Campus Office
101 North Wilmot Road
Suite 101
Tucson, AZ 85711

520-519-4666

© 2019 UA-ARC | Privacy Policy

CCC

On-Campus Office
1110 E South Campus Drive
Saguaro Hall, Room 210
Tucson, AZ 85721

520-621-3811

CCC

Off-Campus Office
101 North Wilmot Road
Suite 101
Tucson, AZ 85711

520-519-4666

© 2019 UA-ARC | Privacy Policy

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