Space Mission Design and Operations
Space exploration is a very exciting subject. Consider the achievements of Sputnik 1, Yuri Gagarin's first flight in space, the Apollo missions to the Moon, followed by the Shuttle program, the Hubble Space Telescope launch and maintenance on orbit, and finally the assembly and exploitation of the International Space Station. These were challenging undertakings involving space agencies and industrial teams of several nations, and private companies as well. Space telescopes are in service, and several components of the solar system have been and are still actively visited by a number of unmanned probes and robots providing us with precious knowledge about our space environment as well as the far away Universe.
This course builds on university level physics and mechanics to introduce and illustrate orbital dynamics as is applied in the design of space missions. Simple tools will be provided to allow planning of missions on orbit around Earth or in the Solar System. You will learn from the experience of Claude Nicollier, one of the first ESA astronauts, specifically through his involvement in the Shuttle project and his role in the maintenance of the Hubble Space Telescope on two occasions.
The course focuses on conceptual understanding of space mechanics, maneuvers, propulsion and control systems used in all spacecraft. You will gain knowledge of the challenges related to the use of the space environment as a platform for scientific and utilitarian purposes.
Upcoming start dates
- Self-paced Online
Who should attend?
Bachelor level courses in physics, vector analysis, and calculus.
- Introduction to the Course
- Introduction to Space Environment
- Introduction to Orbital Mechanics (I and II)
- Orbital Mechanics Part III
- Orbital Mechanics Part IV
- Introduction to Space Systems and Space Tethers
- The Space Shuttle and the International Space Station (ISS)
- Special Subjects on Human Spaceflight, and Future of Space Exploration
Course delivery details
This course is offered through Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, a partner institute of EdX.
2-4 hours per week
- Verified Track -$50
- Audit Track - Free
Certification / Credits
What you'll learn
- Fundamental laws of mechanics and orbital mechanics
- Orbital maneuvers
- Types of space missions and their objectives
- Space environment
- General concepts of space vehicle architecture
- Attitude determination and control
- Onboard systems
- Risk management and reliability
- Key design elements for successful missions, in particular related to human spaceflight
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