The SPACE laboratory at California State University, Los Angeles was established with a $5.3 million NASA Institutional Research Award (IRA) granted in 1994. The objective of the program is to design and build a segmented reflector test-bed. Within this project, state-of-the-art multidisciplinary technologies have been developed that combine controls, structures, electronics, and computers. The project has been conducted under a coalition consisting of four universities, a NASA Center, and five major aerospace companies. The development of the test-bed has been conducted under the supervision of eight dedicated engineering faculty whose renowned expertise encompasses the variety of disciplines inherent in the project.

Over 350 talented minority engineering students from the participating universities have been involved in the research and development of the test-bed. The project has served as a stepping-stone from which these students have pursued either graduate studies or successful careers in major industries in Southern California. Effective March 1, 2003 this Laboratory is part of a University Research Center (URC) sponsored by NASA   ($6,000,000) for the next five years. The research concentration is related to the control of space segmented telescopes.