AstronauticsNow.com/aste520 ASTE520 Spacecraft Design
Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering (MS ASTE)
MS ASTE - Frequently asked questions
MS ASTE - schedule of courses
USC Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering: Overview (53 min)
who should take course ASTE 520 Spacecraft Design
Applying ASTE-520: Satllite Launch by North Korea in 2012
ASTE 520 in Fall 2013 semester: all course materials will be posted on the class web site at DEN/GAPP in mid August.
you can get some information about the course
from a recent (Spring 2013) first (introductory) lecture :
ASTE 520 First lecture and detailed information
20132014 academic year,
ASTE520 Spacecraft Design
will be offered in thefall 2013 (Monday, 6:309:10 pm) semester;
the course will not be offered in the spring 2014 semester.
MS ASTE course schedule
Note that shedules do change. Always check the course schedule with ASTE Student Advisor .
Course webcasts. All lectures are available as webcasts through VSOE's Distance Education Network DEN to all students enrolled in the course during the entire semester.
PC or Mac. DEN streams course videos using Microsoft Windows media encoders and servers. While streaming windows media files are supported by both the latest Mac and PC operating systems, using a Windows based system will usually provide a better experience. Additionally, DEN has recently added video download capabilities using Microsofts Digital Rights Management supporting Windows operating systems.
ASTE520 is a very popular graduate course. Almost 1100 students took the course during the last 10 years from 2003-2012; more than 1400 students took the course since 1996.
Mike Gruntman's web site on
Astronautics and Spacecraft Design
Recommended books (textbooks and monographs) on Astronautics, Spacecraft Design, and Spacecraft Systems
USC Department of Astronautical Engineering offers BS, BS Minor, MS, Engineer, and PhD Degrees in astronautical engineering; Graduate Certificate in astronautical engineering
Frequently asked questions FAQ
Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering
USC Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering: Overview (53 min)
For fun: Sputnik 1 Explorer 1 Vanguard 1
Special lecture (free download) 1 hr 10 min
The Road to Space. The First Thousand Years.
Fifty years ago in October of 1957, the first artificial satellite of the Earth was launched into space. The lecture focuses on the history of the events that led us to the space age.
Special lecture (webcast): Space: From Firecrackers to Interstellar Flight
Part 1. The First Thousand Years (webcast 87 min); Part 2. Space in 21st Century (webcast 84 min)
Short courses: space systems and space missions
Video clips of interest to space mission design and to spacecraft design
Space Mission Design and Spacecraft Design
Mike's book Blazing the Trail. The Early History of Spacecraft and Rocketry (published by AIAA in 2004) received the Luigi Napolitano Award from the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) in 2006.
From Astronautics to Cosmonautics book published in 2007
About Course ASTE 520
ASTE 520 Spacecraft Design is usually taken by astronautical engineering and other science (physics, astronomy. math) and engineering (electrical, mechanical, aerospace, chemical, systems, computer, and other) graduate students and sometimes advanced senior level undergrad students.
This class is a core requirement for the degree Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering (code ASTE).
The course offers a broad introduction to fundamentals of space systems, main spacecraft subsystems, and their interactions.
This class is a must for science and engineering students, regardless of their major, considering careers in the space industry and government space research and development centers.
This is a very popular class, perhaps the largest graduate class on fundamentals of space systems in the United States. More than 1100 graduate students took this class during the last 10 years from 2003-2010.
In academic years 20082009, 20092010, 2010-2011, 2011-2012, and 2012-2013 the course was offered in both semesters, fall (Monday, 6:309:10 pm) and spring (Friday, 5:007:40 pm). In 20132014 academic year, I will ofer the course - unlimited enrollment - only in the fall of 2013. Always check the class schedule with ASTE Student Affairs.
ASTE 520 is webcast and available through the USC Distance Education Network (DEN). DEN classes are taken by students pursuing graduate degrees (especially Master of Science) anywhere in the United States. In 20052013, students from 1014 states of the United States enrolled each year in Mike's ASTE 520.
Many our students work full time in major space companies and space government research and development centers (Aerospace Corporation, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Lockheed-Martin, Northrop-Grumman, Boeing, UT, Space and Missiles Systems Center, etc.), in small companies, or are on active duty. There is growing enrollment into the astronautical engineering program of students not affiliated with companies (on an individual basis).
To get more information on ASTE520, other astronautics-related courses, USC graduate and undergraduate programs in Astronautical Engineering , and on DEN and contact information, please consult Frequently asked questions Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering
Organization of the class.
Course Outline (see also a recent first lecture of the course for details)
History of space exploration.
Univere. Galaxy. solar system. Coordinate systems.
Space environment. Hardness.
Space mission geometry; astrodynamics.
Orbit design. Basic orbits, perturbations, delta-V.
Spacecraft and mission design overview. Operations, launching facilities. Reliability.
Guidance, navigation and control; attitude determination; reaction control system. Global Positioning System.
Propulsion. Launch systems.
Introduction to communications; antennas.s
Communication link;TT & C; data handling.
Electric power systems.
Structures and mechanisms.
Only for students enrolled in Mike's ASTE 520
REQUIRED CLASS NOTES
Class Notes (800+ pages) are essential and mandatory to the course.
The notes are available for download at DEN's web site of ASTE520 in the beginning of the semester.
Start with reading the "readme.pdf" file for instructions.
Usually, the full set of notes is ready before the first class meeting. The full set of homework assignments will also be available by that time, or at the latest by the end of the first month of the semester.
To access the class web site at DEN, all students enrolled in the class (including all on-campus students) must register with DEN.
Note that the notes are protected with a password that can be obtained only from the instructor (see Section 00, Part 2; no password protection).
Space Mission Analysis and Design , ed. W.J. Larson and J.R. Wertz,
Kluwer Academic Publishers and Microcosm, 3rd Edition.
Space Mission Engineering: The New SMAD ,
eds. J. R. Wertz, D.F. Everett, and J.J. Puschell, Microcosm, 2011.
The students enrolled in ASTE520 will get discount, as usual, when buying the book directly from the publisher at http://astrobooks.com (you need to contact them directly and tell that you are enrolled in Mike Gruntman's ASTE520).
Many other textbooks and monographs recommended by the instructor on various aspects of astronautics and space technology are listed at
There are 3036 homework assignments. Late homework is graded with grades reduced by a 50% factor.
Grading policy for ASTE 520 (subject to change)