A new era in astronautical engineering education began on April 11, as Capitol Technology University unveiled its Space Flight Operations Training Center (SFOTC), established through a partnership with The Hammers Company.
“Today we’re launching the next generation of space operations activities for Capitol,” said Dr. Michael Wood, Capitol's former President. “It’s going to open the doors to more jobs and careers for our students both in the NASA community and in the government and private sector community."
The SFOTC employs Hammers-designed VirtualSat® dynamic simulator and Galaxy® telemetry and command software to provide students with the opportunity to control and command virtual satellites, replicating scenarios they will encounter in real-time as professional space flight engineers.
"When [students] get into the real world and they see the real telemetry coming back from the satellite it will be no different than what you see on the SFOTC displays. It’s the actual flight code. It’s the actual ground system and dynamics that you see in orbit today,” said Steve Hammers, CEO of The Hammers Company.
The new center builds on Capitol's track record of hands-on space flight operations training. As part of a ten-year grant provided by NASA, Capitol hosted a backup mission control center for NASA in the Space Operations Institute (SOI). Several Capitol alumni who participated in the SOI were on hand to mark the launch of its successor, the SFOTC.
“It’s the next step,” says 2009 graduate Ben Holt, who participated in the SOI and has since served as lead engineer for multiple NASA satellite missions, including the EO-1 and Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) satellites. “Students will be able to simulate anomalies and figure out how to fix them, and so they’ll be much better prepared for the future."