The simulation of the aerothermal environment surrounding vehicles moving at hypersonic speed is a complex problem due to its multi-physics and multi-scale nature. Progress in the ability to accurately model these systems has been hindered by the lack of reliable physical and chemical models for collisional and radiative processes. Furthermore, the predictive capabilities of these models are often established by a simple comparison of the model predictions against results from legacy experimental measurements, the accuracy of which is often not well characterized. Substantial progress in the area of computational chemistry, along with increased computational resources, have allowed for the construction of realistic models based on molecular-scale dynamics. I propose to use state specific collisional radiative models as a powerful tool to derive macroscopic conservation equations, energy exchange terms and chemical production rates for atmospheric entry plasmas. I will cover the key aspects involved in model development, namely: (1) using ab-initio quantum calculations as a powerful tool to construct high-fidelity physics-based models; (2) defining reduced-order models for the simulation of 2D and 3D flows (e.g., coarse-grain modeling); (3) validating physical models and determining the uncertainty in their predictive capabilities, based on the most recent developments in Uncertainty Quantification (UQ) algorithms.