Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Justin Delorit, PhD


Military and civil interest in space-based operations has increased dramatically in recent years due to the discovery of life sustaining properties such as water on Mars and advancements in cyber technology. Civilian sector discussions and research have centered on the establishment of permanent extraterrestrial infrastructure, while discussions from the military perspective have focused on providing reliable, resilient infrastructure, capable of withstanding cyber-based and kinetic attacks. Both perspectives account for known threats and sustainment methods required to ensure success in the space domain. With the existence of threats for the military and civilian missions, civil engineers will undoubtedly be critical to the evolution and maintenance of space infrastructure and are currently developing their roles and responsibilities for military and civilian mission sustainment in space. This research approaches civil engineer involvement in space from two angles. First, it presents a systematic review of literature assessing four construction materials: aluminum, Biopolymer Soil Composite (BSC), sulfur concrete, and regolith. These materials are examined against several unique components required for infrastructure sustainment in space to include radiation resistance, high-impact strike resistance, thermal insulation/vulnerability, recyclability, material life cycle cost, and constructability. Second, this research seeks to understand the role that United States Air Force Civil Engineer Company Grade Officers play in sustaining the operations of the United States Space Force through a Delphi study. These two focuses allow for military and civilian civil engineers to understand the missions each is currently pursuing, allowing for convergence of expertise for future advancement within the space domain.

AFIT Designator



A 12-month embargo was observed.

Approved for public release. Case number on file.