The purpose of this course is to give an overview of the space technology career field and how the technology is applied at NASA Goddard SFC in particular. This course is intended to be taken during the freshman year and is required of all Space Technology degree seekers. The mathematical content will be kept to a basic algebraic college level. Emphasis will be placed upon satellite technology.


The student will demonstrate a proficient knowledge of:


1.      Satellite-Launch vehicle and propulsion systems

        Satellite building blocks and structures

        Basic orbital mechanics including establishing an orbit and maneuvering

        Orbit maintenance

        Launcher performance (payload capabilities)


2.      Satellite power systems

        Solar arrays

        Storage cells


        Power conditioning and control electronics


3.      Spacecraft environment and remote sensing applications (as missions)

        Remote sensing principles

        Sensors as hardware

        Spacecraft effects caused by the space and launch environments


4.      Control and command of satellites



        Navigation principles

        Antennas & sensors (link calculations, spectral power, BW, gain)

        Operations (ground and space)

        Tele-command (detection, decoding, routing)


5.      Satellite propulsion

        Basic thruster and propellant considerations

        Transducers that monitor launch


6.      Spacecraft performance testing and specifications


7.   Spacecraft systems, operational testing, and reliability considerations

     Thermal control and testing (thermal vacuum)

     Test facilities: clean rooms, EMI,  vibration


8.   Spacecraft ground support equipment and facilities



The student will be able to explain:


1.      Relevant spacecraft factors and system parameters

        environmental factors- launch and space environments

        satellite propulsion- thrusters, propellants, transducers

        payload capabilities of launch vehicles

        telemetry, tracking, navigational principles

        spacecraft sensors- which important parameters to be monitored

        orbital mechanics for the establishment, maintenance, and maneuvering of spacecraft


2.      Purpose and application of various satellite systems and subsystems:

        remote sensing

        power, use of redundancy

        command and control

        ground support 


3.  The student will be able to define and explain the significance of: 


4.  The student will be able to calculate:

 5.  The student will be able to build a conceptual spacecraft model- including all subsystems and required ground support.