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UTSpaceInstituteOne of UT’s most world-renowned components celebrates a milestone soon, and the public is invited to join in the fun.

The UT Space Institute was founded in 1964 to support Arnold Engineering Development Center at nearby Arnold Air Force Base as a graduate education and research facility.

Now, fifty years later, UTSI is celebrating its golden jubilee with entertainment, fireworks, food, and fun, all starting with a run/walk on Thursday, September 11.

“Our graduates stand as a testament to our contributions to both aerospace and the defense of the country,” said Robert Moore, executive director of UTSI. “We’re also focused on making scientific and technical advances, not only in issues surrounding flight but in the automotive industry as well.”

UTSI offers graduate training in industrial and systems engineering with an engineering management concentration; engineering science with a flight test engineering concentration; mechanical, aerospace, and biomedical engineering; and physics.

NASA’s Barry Wilmore, the next commander of the International Space Station, is one of nine astronauts to have earned degrees at UTSI.

“The primary mission of the institute is to help AEDC to maintain state-of-the-art expertise in both technical and managerial ranks,” said Moore. “We’ve had more than 500 AEDC employees earn graduate degrees here, and more than 2,200 graduate degrees earned overall, including 250 doctorates.

The institute’s celebration will include tours, bands, a picnic, and games including a dunking machine, a bounce house, and carnival attractions.

Ending the first day’s entertainment will be comedian, movie star, and Knoxville native Henry Cho and a fireworks extravaganza.

On Friday, the entertainment turns more serious, with a series of sessions focusing on the history of the institute and the technical aspect of the research and breakthroughs there, in addition to a student poster contest.

Friday’s celebration concludes with a birthday gala in Tullahoma that night.

While many events are free, tickets to see Cho’s show are $25 each, tickets to the picnic are $15 each, and a combo ticket for both is $35. Tickets for the Friday night banquet are $30.

For more information, tickets, or to RSVP, visit

C O N T A C T :

David Goddard (865-974-0683,