Purdue University has become the first university to join Space ISAC, the National Cybersecurity Center and the Space Information Sharing and Analysis Center announced this morning.

Known as the “Cradle of Astronauts,” Purdue University has had 25 graduates become astronauts, including Neil Armstrong, the first person on the moon, and Gus Grissom, the second American in space.

According to Space ISAC’s announcement, Purdue will “contribute its long legacy of accomplishments in space and cybersecurity leadership to the board,” and help define and carry out longer-term research, educational and workforce development activities for the group.

Dr. Dan DeLaurentis, a professor at Purdue’s School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, will serve on the Space ISAC board of directors.

“We are gratified that the Space ISAC charter recognizes the critical role that academia must play in sustaining the security of our nation’s most critical infrastructure,” DeLaurentis said in the news release. “The Space ISAC is positioned at the nexus of three of Purdue’s highest priorities and core strengths: space, cybersecurity and strategic research partnerships with the private sector.”

Space ISAC, the nation’s only space-dedicated information sharing and analysis center, is based at the NCC and was unveiled in April 2019 during a classified session at the 35th Space Symposium.

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Kratos Defense & Security Solutions was Space ISAC’s first founding member, providing the initial funding and support to set up the organization. Booz Allen Hamilton, MITRE, SES, Lockheed Martin and Parsons Corporation have since joined as founding members.

“Space ISAC is honored to have Purdue as a founding member as they will reach into the next generation of space industry professionals to show them we need them to design security into space systems,” Erin Miller, VP of operations for the Space ISAC, said in the release. “Integrating security into the space sector will be essential to achieving the multi-decade mission of the Space ISAC.”

Together, NCC and the Space ISAC serve cyber influencers from the commercial sector, academia, government and military and empower people to secure commercial, international and military space communications from attacks on the United States’ global space assets. They are jointly building a research and development capability, cybersecurity training curriculum and an analysis portal.

ISACs are sector-specific, member-driven organizations stood up by the commercial sector with support from the federal government to collect, analyze and disseminate all-hazards, actionable threat and mitigation information to asset owners, operators and members.

There are 21 nationally-recognized ISACs today, with the financial services ISAC being the largest.

The need for a Space ISAC was conceived by the Science and Technology Partnership Forum in 2017 in response to recognized information sharing gaps within the cybersecurity and space community.