5019 W Airport Drive
Kincheloe, MI 49788
Phone: 906-495-5631
Email: admin@chippewacountyedc.com

LSSU Space Certificate Program

For Immediate Release: July 5th, 2023
CONTACT: Chris Olson, chrisolson@chippewacountyedc.com (906) 495-5631

Lake Superior State University is excited to announce that students can now register for Introduction to Space Systems – SPAC 310 for the fall semester. This is the first class to be offered by the university for the new Space Missions and Operations Certification program. The class offers a lecture and lab schedule that will provide a systematic overview of space systems, fundamentals, and satellite technology components. Prerequisites include MATH112, MATH131 or higher-level calculus, CHEM091 or higher, PHYS221 or higher.

Thanks to Grant funding from the MEDC Michigan Enhancement Grant Department and Senator John Damoose, the approved project allowed development of a training and certification curriculum, which proposed creation of workforce for the Chippewa Homestead Antenna Mission Program (CHAMP). The new class offering comes after a year of coordinated effort from LSSU professors Zakaria Mahmud, PhD, Edoardo Sarda, PhD and Christopher Smith, PhD, Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation President Chris Olson, Brandon “BT” Cesul, PhD at KBR and Al Lepore of Redwire Space. This certificate program would not have been possible without the contributions of Stanley Kennedy, Jr. and his vision bringing this program to the Eastern Upper Peninsula. 

Dr. Mahmud said, “I have spoken with numerous students who have aspired to pursue a career in aerospace. The availability of this certification program, which is accessible to all, is truly a dream come true for them.”

“We have nothing but opportunity here in the Eastern Upper Peninsula, and this program, spearheaded by a strong public/private partnership, is part of an effort to make our region the next great American hub for space activity,” stated Sen. Damoose. “I’m proud to play even a small role in making it happen.”

Space operations professionals direct the entire space system, from launch vehicle processing and flight events, to initialization and operation of satellites on-orbit, to anamoly resolution and mission planning, and finally disposal and data archiving. The LSSU certificate program as designed mirrors in many ways the US Space Force’s Space Readiness and Training Command (STARCOM) training units in California and Colorado for enlisted and officer active duty. With the expected growth in number of United States Space Force (USSF) personnel, current training programs do not have sufficient capacity to service the USSF’s needs, and if done with this mind, the LSSU certificate program could position itself to be an alternate training program with reciprocity to the professional military education programs.

An important consideration in the Space Missions and Operations Certification program is that the experience gained through the field work planned for the two-class sequence will give valuable resume bullets that will qualify the student for space careers that they otherwise would not have coupled with a traditional degree. Average pay for a space operator / satellite operator / satellite ground station operator is $60,000 – $100,000 per year according to ZipRecruiter, depending on exact position and location.

Learn more about this program at the LSSU Website.