For 75 years, CU Boulder has been a leader in space exploration and innovation. We travel to space to monitor sea level rise, melting ice, weather patterns and more. Our researchers explore how to track and remove dangerous debris in space. We research the health of humans in space to inform medical applications for people on Earth. Learn more about the latest in space research and science at CU Boulder.


CU Boulder scientists bring stellar flares into clearer focus

Jan. 28, 2022

In work that has implications for the search for life elsewhere in the galaxy, scientists are analyzing data from 440 stellar flares, finding them to be not just common and powerful but also more complex than previously thought.

CU Boulder undergraduate students, left to right, Adrian Bryant and Rithik Gangopadhyay work in the mission operations center for IXPE.

Students operate $214M spacecraft. ‘It’s like what you see in the movies.’

Jan. 18, 2022

In December, students and professionals sat in a mission operations center on campus to watch NASA's new Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer satellite blast off into space. But for the dedicated individuals managing the mission operations, the hard work had just begun.

 Instrument built by graduate student Ryan Cole

Researchers replicate climates of exoplanets to help find extraterrestrial life

Dec. 23, 2021

Professor Greg Rieker and Ryan Cole have developed an experiment that recreates the climates of planets beyond our solar system right in the lab. By reaching the same high-temperature and high-pressure conditions found on many exoplanets, the instrument can map their atmospheres, which could help humanity detect life outside our solar system.

Artist's depiction of James Webb in space with its mirror unfolded.

New space telescope to peer back at the universe’s first galaxies

Dec. 21, 2021

The decades-in-the-making James Webb Space Telescope will observe light from the dawn of the universe and may even detect the gases swirling in the atmospheres of alien planets.

Illustration of space

NASA awards $14 million to CU for two new CubeSat missions

Dec. 20, 2021

Two new CubeSats, to be built by the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP), will provide first-of-their-kind measurements of gravity waves in Earth’s upper atmosphere and explosions in the Sun’s corona.

Artist’s rendering of an exoplanet system experiencing atmospheric escape

Scientists envision what Mars would look like as an exoplanet

Dec. 15, 2021

Which planets beyond our solar system are most likely to host life? By extrapolating the current scientific understanding of Mars, a multi-disciplinary team, including researchers from LASP, is helping identify alien planets that may be habitable.

A pit on the moon as seen from a satellite in orbit

Spelunking on the moon: New study explores lunar pits and caves

Dec. 13, 2021

One day, human astronauts could live in the protected environments of pits and caves on the moon. A new study seeks to better understand what the environments may be like within these craggy features.


Mysterious STEVE light emissions emanate from Earth’s magnetosphere

Dec. 13, 2021

Contributions from citizen scientists are helping researchers identify different types of aurora-like light emissions and constrain how and where in Earth’s atmosphere those light emissions are generated.

Members of the CU Boulder flight crew working on a RAAVEN drone in 2019 during a mission with a tornado in the distance.

Designing flying artificial intelligence systems to study supercell thunderstorms up close

Dec. 13, 2021

A team of CU Boulder scientists and engineers have landed a major grant to design next-generation uncrewed aircraft systems to fly into the heart of supercell thunderstorms that can spawn tornadoes.

Gravity waves imprinted on atmospheric airglow

NASA to fund LASP’s new OWLS instrument

Dec. 10, 2021

A new instrument to be built by the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics will help answer fundamental questions about gravity waves and improve the forecasting of satellite trajectories.