Montana State University

The Space Science and Engineering Laboratory

MSU's Space Science and Engineering Laboratory (SSEL) is a center of expertise with faculty, staff, and facilities for space research and space technologies. The charter of the laboratory is to bring together students and faculty in the science and engineering disciplines to conduct space flight experiments within an interdisciplinary research and student training environment. As described below the program has involved building the capability at MSU to conceive, design, build and operate sounding rocket payloads and small satellites. A fundamental tenet of the organization is to pursue state-of-the-art research while focusing strongly on student involvement, education and training in experimental space science. Upon graduation, participants in this program can enter the workforce with direct experience in space technologies.

Our hardware projects are space science motivated while simultaneously directed at major involvement by students at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students undertake major responsibilities for design, engineering, development, testing, and flight operation, thereby gaining the essential beyond-the-classroom experience of working in an interdisciplinary team environment. SSEL students develop necessary workforce skills through hands-on experience gained by building complex systems requiring formal documentation, configuration management, and adherence to schedule and budget. The students encounter and solve systems engineering challenges beyond those usually presented through the standard engineering and science curriculum. This deep involvement provides the extra experience that prepares these students to embark immediately on highly productive positions upon entering the workforce.

Students interested in becoming involved in the programs of the Space Science and Engineering Laboratory should contact the Director, . For more information, including details of current and past projects, go to

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