Space Science

Sol 6 in the Mars Yard looking back towards the Phido rock group.

Studying Space Science

During 2018 I took a course in Space Science (S818) with the Open University.  This is a standalone PGCert course or can form part of an MSc.  Below are descriptions of the course blocks together with interesting links.

The Open University, Space Science Course

Block A - An Introduction to Space Science and Technology

The initial block of the course looked at the space environment, the basics of space vehicles operation and how to do science in space.

Space Weather from NOAA

Block B Apollo 11

Looking at exploration of the Moon with Apollo 11 surface mission planning as an example.  Human rating, the launch environment and telecommunications link budgets are also covered.

The Apollo Guidance System

Block C Gaia

The Gaia and Hipparcos missions are used as examples to study astrometry and scientific instruments in space.  To experience the stars mapped by Gaia download the Gaia Sky app.

The Gaia Sky APP

Block D Rosetta

The Rosetta mission to comet  67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and the Philae lander are used to demonstrate mission development and the operation of remote probes.  Read Monica Grady's blog for a first hand account.

Monica Grady - The Conversation

Block E Curiosity on Mars

Mars is being explored by several  rovers of which Curiosity is the latest and most complex.  This is used as a means to examine mission operations and to provide and introduction to the rover week exercise in the Open University's Mars Yard.

Mars Yard - The Open University

Study Materials

A 3U CubeSat orbiting Venus with an inflatable parabolic antenna to act as a communications link.

Python Programming

As part of the course an ability to use the Python programming language is needed.   Here is the free Open University course that supports this. 

Learning to Code for Data Analysis - The Open University

A CubeSat mission to Venus

Venera-D, a proposed mission to Venus might carry up to 6U of CubeSats.  What would they look like and what would they study?