FSI was established in 1996 by the State of Florida. In 2001, the state of Florida designated FSI as a Type-I institute (now called State of Florida Institute) of the State University System, and defined a sustaining budget level for FSI.

In 2012, FSI was re-chartered to allow the Institute a broader portfolio of research and education activities, as well as to simplify its governance and increase the authority of the FSI Director. Also in 2012, FSI relocated from near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cocoa to Orlando offices in the Central Florida Research Park, adjacent to the University of Central Florida (UCF) where it can play a larger role in advancing UCF’s growing space efforts.



Charter and Mission

FSI was re-chartered in 2012; the new charter can be found here .

The core mission of FSI is to support space research, development, and education activities within the University of Central Florida (UCF) and other FSI member institutions in Florida, and secondarily to support the development of Florida’s space economy—civil, defense, and commercial.



Structure and Governance

FSI is led by a director and assistant director. The current director and assistant director of FSI are Ramon (Ray) Lugo and Dr. Josh Colwell, respectively.

All FSI personnel, including those in the Florida Space Grant Consortium as well as FSI’s researchers, and research and office support staff, report to the FSI Director. The FSI Director in turn reports to the UCF Vice President for the Office of Research and Commercialization, Dr. M.J. Soileau.

FSI is managed by UCF. UCF is also the fiscal agent.




Recently, an effort has begun to identify a broad suite of partners including academic institutions, governmental institutions, private non-profits, and private for profit firms.



External Advisory Board (EAB)

FSI’s External Advisory Board (EAB) consists of nationally recognized experts in commercial space, civil space, and research; it includes three current or past NASA Headquarters executives, two university professors, two commercial space executives, and a former NASA astronaut. The charter for the EAB is as follows:

The External Advisory Board (EAB) of the Florida Space Institute (FSI) is chartered to provide both strategic and tactical advice to the FSI director regarding FSI’s current operations and future directions, including growth opportunities, outreach, governance, and funding.


EAB Member Institution Background and Expertise
Prof. Bobby Braun Georgia Institute of Technology Former NASA Chief Technology OfficerAerospace Engineering
Ms. Lynne Cline Retired (NASA) Space Station and Exploration Expert,Former NASA Deputy Associate Administrator for Human Spaceflight
Dr. Richard Dissly Ball Aerospace Corporation NASA Science Mission Business Development Expert,Planetary Scientist
Ms. Alex Hall X Prize Foundation Director, Google Lunar X Prize, Commercial Space Expert
Prof. Jeff Hoffman Massachusetts Institute of Technology Massachusetts Space Grant Director, Former NASA Astronaut,Astrophysicist