UCF’s Homecoming football game will be dubbed the “Space Game” and will honor the university’s long-time ties to the United States space program.

The University of Central Florida was founded in 1963 as Florida Technological University, with the mission of supporting the growing United States space program at nearby Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.  As the academic scope expanded beyond its original focus on engineering and technology, the school was renamed the University of Central Florida in 1978.

The Oct. 14 Homecoming game vs. East Carolina will feature many connections to the space program. The “Space Game” will demonstrate and celebrate UCF’s commitment to space exploration and research that spans from the early days just before stepping onto the moon to our pursuit of Mars today.

The following is a look at just a few of UCF’s connections to the space program and space research:

  • UCF currently leads the NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium
  • UCF researchers are working with commercial partners such as Virgin Galactic, United Launch Alliance and Blue Origin to push our exploration limits
  • UCF has been involved in eight (8) NASA missions, including the recently-concluded (Sept. 15) Cassini mission to Saturn and the active OSIRIS Rex mission to retrieve samples from a nearby asteroid
  • UCF is home to NASA’s Center for Lunar and Asteroid Science
  • The Florida Space Institute is also hosted at UCF
  • The Knights will wear special mission patches on their uniforms for the Oct. 14 Space Game. The full uniform combination will be announced soon. A mission patch is a cloth reproduction of the spaceflight mission emblem worn by astronauts and other personnel affiliated with a particular mission. It is usually executed as an embroidered patch. Traditionally, the patch is worn on the space suit that astronauts wear when launched into space. Mission patches have been adopted by the crew and personnel of many other space ventures, public and private.

    UCF Space Game mission patch information:

  • A star cluster in the center that represents the constellation ‘Pegasus,’ the symbol of UCF
  • Multiple planets in the starscape, showing what lies beyond our solar system
  • UCF’s motto “Reach for the Stars” adorns the top border
  • The border implies looking out of a window aboard a futuristic ship, exploring space
  • The moon, the closest celestial body to earth, is included to symbolize what we’ve already accomplished
  • The Homecoming Space Game is presented by CFE Federal Credit Union. The #UCFansWear theme for the Space Game is “Starry Knight.” Fans will be encouraged to wear black with white shirts among them, giving the illusion of stars in the night sky. Mission Patch t-shirts are currently available at the UCF Bookstore.