California Launch Vehicle Education Initiative Support

Eric Besnard, Professor
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
California State University, Long Beach
Phone: (562) 985-5442

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), in partnership with Garvey Spacecraft Corporation (GSC), has been leading the California Launch Vehicle Education Initiative (CALVEIN). This program aims at providing students of all levels, from freshman to graduate, with an opportunity to enhance their educational experiences through flight projects mentored by industry experts. Over the years, the program has engaged the participation of other universities within California such as Stanford and Cal Poly, SLO, and also beyond our state with other Space Grant funded institutions, such as Kentucky Space, Montana State, and more recently University of Maine through their Space Grant Consortium. The various projects contribute to the development of new technologies for future low cost launch vehicles and small satellites.  Examples include the development of aerospike engine technologies funded by the Missile Defense Agency and the demonstration of wireless technologies for low cost launch vehicles and small satellites with funding via an SBIR from NASA Ames to Garvey Spacecraft Corporation. CSULB proposes to have the California Space Grant Consortium (CaSGC) fund student projects complementing these activities and which would contribute to enhancing the impact of its on-going externally funded programs. More specifically, the funds would be used to support students developing the Prospector-18, a vehicle designed to flight test CubeSat avionics for rocket command, data handling and telemetry purposes.  This program integrates technology development and demonstration of interest to NASA along with aerospace workforce mentoring in a flight program.