Campus: CSU Long Beach -- June 25, 2001

California Space Flight Grant Program Awards $110,645 to Aerospace Engineering Department at California State University, Long Beach

The State of California's Competitive Space Grant Program has awarded a one-year, $110,645 grant to the Department of Aerospace Engineering at California State University, Long Beach for a project that will help prepare engineering students for space industry employment.

A partnership project between Cal State Long Beach and the Garvey Spacecraft Corporation (GSC), the California Launch Vehicle Initiative (CALVEIN) will focus on development and implementation of an education program addressing the design and manufacture of low-cost launch vehicles. One of the program's main features is that it will result in the actual flight of two vehicles. The grant project will begin July 1.

"Beyond the direct benefits to the students and employers in the space industry, this program will help establish Cal State Long Beach as a center of excellence in aerospace education, especially in the area of launch vehicles," said Eric Besnard, project director and CSULB faculty member. "It will help us attract and retain aerospace engineering students and contribute to an increase in space research and development activities on campus."

CALVEIN is made up of three components, the first of which includes assembling a low-cost, liquid-propelled rocket. This activity will allow lower-division undergraduate engineering students to develop hands-on skills on a real aerospace product. Upper-division students will be assigned team management tasks to enhance their team leadership skills.

The second component will be a two-semester aerospace system design course addressing technology development and integration into reusable launch vehicles (RLVs). The course will be articulated around projects taking the students from concept definition to component manufacturing and testing. This will enhance the students' engineering design experience and will provide future employers with engineers experienced in the application of systems engineering to a full-scale project.

The last component of the program is a workshop on low-cost RLV development. This workshop, scheduled for Spring 2002, will not only showcase the work accomplished through CALVEIN but also address low-cost RLV development in other organizations.

The CSULB project was one of 15 funded by the state's Competitive Space Grant Program, which awarded $2 million in matching grants. The funds were awarded to California-based entities to leverage private sector, federal and state resources to complete projects related to the commercial use of space, space vehicle launches, space launch infrastructure, manufacturing, applied research, technology development, economic diversification and business development.

"California serves as the global leader of the commercial space industry," California Governor Gray Davis noted. "In an increasingly competitive world environment, the investment we make in these ideas today is essential to create the economic benefits and high-quality jobs our state will enjoy tomorrow."

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