AeroSpace Ventures at CU

I visited Abby Benson, Director of AeroSapce Ventures (ASV) ( at the University of Colorado. Abby Benson ( explained that aerospace is a high priority for the University of Colorado and this is the reason why AeroSpace Venture exists.

There is a vast amount of aerospace-related activity at CU. ASV was created in 2012 to ensure coordination across different university departments and between the University and industry.

ASV provides practical assistance with project proposals, particularly when these involve several departments; it carries out outreach activities so that numerous space-related activities at CU are better known; and it facilitates contacts between researchers, students, industry leaders, government partners, and entrepreneurs.

One recent example of excellent collaboration between the University of Colorado and industry is the agreement that has just been signed between Lockheed Martin and the University of Colorado Boulder (CU) in support of engineering education (  The Lockheed Martin will grant $3 million, spread over 4 years, on the Radio Frequency (RF) Space Systems Research Center that will contribute to fill skill demands from the space sector. RF fields address commercial, civil and military needs for communications, radar and photonics with possible applications in tracking, navigation and control of spacecraft as well as next-generation global navigation technologies.

Another very visible example of CU’s achievement in aerospace and a perfect example of government/academia/industry collaboration is NASA’s scout mission to Mars, MAVEN (  MAVEN is designed to orbit Mars and explore the state of the Martian upper atmosphere, the processes that control it, and current atmospheric loss. The CU Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) proposed, designed and leads the mission on behalf of NASA.  NASA provided the $600 million necessary for the mission. Lockheed Martin built the spacecraft, LASP designed and manufactured the instrumentation, together with University of California, Berkeley, and ULA provided the rocket.


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