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Academic Program

Academic Program

A graduate focus area, Bioastronautics is related to
BioServe’s research, a leader in developing valuable
life sciences applications.

Bioastronautics, within the Aerospace Engineering Sciences (AES) Department at CU-Boulder

This program encompasses the biological, behavioral and medical aspects governing humans and other organisms living in a space environment and includes vehicle design for space or planetary habitation. In sort, this spans the study (science) and support (engineering) of life in space. The fundamentals also extend into combustion sciences, gravitational fluid mechanics and materials processing in space through common analysis of the underlying gravity-dependent physical principles associated with each application. In addition to their academic studies, many students become involved with BioServe to acquire hands-on experience coupling the engineering design process with space life science research and biophysical analysis techniques. Link to CU-Boulder aerospace MS and PhD programs in Aerospace Engineering Sciences.
To admissions web link


Research Assistant (RA) Positions

We tend to have more interest from applicants seeking RA positions than we are able to accommodate, so do not generally solicit openings. Graduate and undergraduate students are encouraged to check with faculty and staff regarding current employment opportunities. Students interested in pursuing a PhD must have funding committed before being accepted into the doctoral program. These opportunities are particularly selective and are highly dependent on research activities. Check the Aerospace Department’s admissions web link for application details.

CU Aerospace Program Rankings

The 2010 National Research Council (NRC) Assessment of PhD programs ranks the Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences at UCB among the top four schools in the nation based on quality of program. CU-Boulder was previously ranked as the 11th top public university in the world for the 4th straight year in a 2006 international study based largely on research criteria. The Aerospace Department is also consistently ranked highly by the US News and World Report. Our graduate program is ranked 12th overall and 8th among public institutions. Our undergraduate program is ranked 14th overall and 10th among public undergraduate programs in aerospace engineering (2011 U.S. News & World Report)

CU has a long history in space flight, ranks among the top five universities, excluding military academies, in terms of number of astronaut alums. In addition, two former astronauts, Joe Tanner and Jim Voss, are now on the Aerospace Engineering Faculty and supporting the Bioastronautics program.

Bioastronautics Courses

ASEN 3519 Introduction to Human Space Flight

ASEN 4859 Undergraduate Research (arranged)

ASEN 4/5/6849 Independent Study (arranged)

ASEN 5016 Space Life Sciences

ASEN 5158 Space Habitat Design

ASEN 5506/6506 Bioastronautics Seminar

ASEN 5018/6028 Graduate Projects

Related Courses (out of focus area, 2 of 3 required)
ASEN 5335 Aerospace Environment

ASEN 5050 Space Flight Dynamics

ASEN 5053 Rocket Propulsion

The graduate curriculum can be tailored to emphasize space hardware design- or space life science-oriented interests. An MS or PhD thesis may be pursued in various research topics involving gravitational sciences or in advanced life support technologies and payload design. Complete requirements are specified in the Graduate Handbook.

Laboratory facilities available at BioServe-CU include rooms dedicated to assembly and test of space flight hardware and electronics, a machine shop, limited cell culture and biochemical wet lab space, and a remote payload operations center for monitoring and controlling our payloads while they are in space. In addition to the local facilities in the CU Engineering Center, BioServe staff and students also periodically utilize various NASA facilities, for example, conducting research on the KC-135 parabolic aircraft, working closely with NASA personnel in preparing experiments for launch at Kennedy Space Center, and training the astronauts at Johnson Space Center to operate BioServe’s payloads onboard the Space Shuttle and International Space Station.

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BioServe Space Technologies - 429 UCB - Boulder, CO 80309 - Tel +1.303.735.5308 - Fax +1.303.492.8883