The University of Arizona
The Arizona Space Institute (ASI) supports space research across the University of Arizona. We do this in multiple, intersecting ways, providing critical resources and expertise to continue the long-term excellence in space sciences at the University of Arizona.
Space Mission and Instrument Development
ASI supports includes seed grants and proposal assistance for faculty members submitting large proposals for space mission and instrument development to NASA, the NSF, private foundations, and other sponsors. UASI is the only UA entity which has Earned Value Capability. Areas of focus include Astrophysics, Planetary Science, Earth Science, Human Space Exploration, and more.
ASI operates several buildings on campus: the Applied Research Building (ARB), the Mission Integration Lab (MIL), and the Grand Challenges Research Buildings. These facilities provide research spaces, and support for mission development. The ARB includes our Multi Mission Operations (MMO) Center, which supports NASA Class-D missions and below. The MMO is currently supporting missions: GUSTO, CatSat, and Pandora.
Current Space Projects
ASI is currently supporting a range of programs across Colleges and Departments at the University of Arizona, as well as for outside partners. These include Aspera (a NASA SmallSat), GUSTO (a NASA Explorer Balloon Payload), OSIRIS-APEX (extended mission of OSIRIS-Rex), CatSat (a student led SmallSat Project), Pandora (a NASA SmallSat), and more.
The UASI is a driving force in advancing the University of Arizona’s role as the world’s leading university for space science, human and robotic exploration, astrobiology/exoplanets research, space situational awareness research, and planetary defense.
The UASI weaves a thread through all it pursues, bringing to bear the exceptional attributes of the UA through research and the formulation, proposal development and management of major projects and space missions, advancing our understanding of the Earth and Universe.
Steward Observatory balloon mission breaks NASA record 22 miles above Antarctica
Riding stratospheric air currents 120,000 feet above the Antarctic continent and collecting far infrared radio emissions from the matter between stars, the GUSTO balloon mission has broken the record as NASA’s longest-flying heavy-lift balloon mission. The previous record stood at 55 days, 1 hour and 34 minutes.