SPST180 Introduction to Astronomy (3 semester hours)
This course will introduce students to the wonders of the universe. Topics will include deciphering the motions of objects in the sky, learning how astronomers decode the light coming to us from distant objects, exploring the Earth and other bodies in our solar system, and investigating the properties and structure of stars, galaxies, and the universe itself. Students will be encouraged to develop a conceptual understanding of these topics beyond memorization of facts. While the course is conceptual in nature, students should expect to use some mathematics. Completion of at least college algebra prior to taking this course is highly recommended.
SPST200 Introduction to Space Studies (3 semester hours)
This course is designed to introduce the student to a variety of subjects, which together comprise the overall field of space studies. This includes the space environment, astrodynamics, launch vehicles, spacecraft, space operations, commerce, space law, policy, telecommunications, space navigations, remote sensing, space resources, astronomy, and space life sciences. All of these topics will be addressed with a very broad brush, as the student will study them more in-depth during later courses in the aerospace studies degree program. Instruction is primarily through readings (both textbook and online), along with weekly classroom discussions. As the first space studies course in the AS and BS degree in Space Studies program, this course also focuses on research and writing methods appropriate to space studies. The web readings listed under "Web Resources" will discuss critical elements of research, writing, style and formatting. The Turabian style (also known as the Chicago style) is required for all courses in this program. The course will introduce the student to a variety of research sources that will be useful in future space studies courses. (Prerequisite: MATH111)
SPST201 Introduction to Space Flight (3 semester hours)
Students in this course assess the major aspects of space flight. The course covers space flight from early rocketry through the development of satellite navigation, meteorology, and telecommunications, up to human space flight. Course topics also include: rocket propulsion, basic orbital mechanics, the space environment, living and working in space, and an overview of non-U.S. space programs. Instruction is primarily through readings, along with weekly forums. There will be weekly quizzes, and a paper. (Prerequisite: SPST200)
SPST203 History of Space Flight (3 semester hours)
This course is a history of human activity in space and includes rocketry, space associations, voluntary organizations, human flight, unmanned flight, satellites, science-fiction, and ballistic missiles. The History of Space is a survey of humanity’s quest to explore outer space, “the final frontier.” This course is a history of human activity concerning, about, and in space and includes early humanity’s fascination with the heavens, the quest for knowledge about what lay beyond the sky, human flight, unmanned flight, the development of rocketry and satellites, the role of early space associations and voluntary organizations, space exploration and ballistic missiles and the increased militarization of space, and science fiction. (Prerequisite: SPST200)
SPST304 National Space Organization (3 semester hours)
This course addresses the United States organization for space operations, to include exploration, satellite operations, military purposes, and research and development. Included in the organization will be the linkages between governmental and non-governmental enterprises in or dealing with space. The course will also briefly address comparative organizations for space as witnessed in other industrialized nations. (Prerequisites: SPST200 or SPST300)
SPST305 Introduction to Orbital Mechanics (3 semester hours)
Students taking this course compute and calculate satellite orbits, planetary orbits, solar system orbits, and other essential space orbits. Designed for the non-scientist student, this course provides a fundamental understanding of how orbital mechanics works in space. (Prerequisites: MATH111 and SPST200 or SPST300)
SPST306 Human Space Flight (3 semester hours)
This course evaluates the physical and psychological effects of spaceflight on humans, countermeasures for both short- and long-duration spaceflight, and discussions of human factors in spacecraft engineering. (Prerequisites: SPST200 or SPST300)
SPST307 Space Policy (3 semester hours)
This course assesses the various aspects of policy surrounding space activities and investigates how space policy evolves from historical contexts through policy outcomes, including law, commerce, the environment, international cooperation, and national security. (Prerequisites: SPST200 or SPST300)
SPST310 Rocket Propulsion (3 semester hours)
This is a survey course of rocket propulsion that covers the history of rockets, the basic science of rocket propulsion including Newton’s Third Law, basic fluid mechanics, the ideal rocket equation, nozzle design and impulse, types of rockets including thermodynamic and electrodynamic, and exotic propulsion methods such as solar sails, tethers and the future of antimatter propulsion.As an introductory survey course, the objectives of this class are geared towards gaining a conceptual understanding of these topics and how rocket propulsion works, rather than memorizing a lot of facts.
SPST330 Launch and Reentry Systems (3 semester hours)
This is a survey course of launch systems and re-entry principles that reviews the basic principles of rocket propulsion, and covers launch windows, times and locations, launch vehicles and their subsystems, the concept of staging, current launch systems, re-entry design including trade-offs and options, and ICBM re-entry systems.
SPST340 Tools of the Observatory (3 semester hours)
This course is designed to familiarize students with the tools used by the astronomer in the observatory. Such tools include telescopes and astronomical imaging cameras. Students will have the opportunity to use the APUS remote observatory. The course will also introduce students to career opportunities as night telescope operators at astronomical observatories.
SPST341 Tools of the Planetarium (3 semester hours)
This course is designed to familiarize students with the equipment and operation of the modern planetarium. Students learn about the use of the planetarium as an effective astronomical educational tool, and explore exciting career opportunities in the planetarium field. Students have the opportunity to utilize planetarium software and visit a local planetarium in their region of the country.
SPST415 Space Station Systems and Operations (3 semester hours)
This course elaborates on Space Station flight operations, its supporting elements and planned systems. Students will study commercial applications, logistical support, maintenance and servicing design concepts. (Prerequisite: SPST200 or SPST300)
SPST425 Satellite and Spacecraft Systems (3 semester hours)
Orbital satellites and spacecraft are discussed according to their application, design and environment. The power system, shielding and communication systems are reviewed along with their missions, space environment and limitations. This course elaborates on Space Station flight operations, its supporting elements and planned systems. Students will study commercial applications, logistical support, maintenance and servicing design concepts. (Prerequisites: SPST200 or SPST300)
SPST435 Planetary and Space Exploration (3 semester hours)
This course is a summary of U.S. and international space programs. The student will assess the Earth and its space environment, to include methods of scientific exploration and spacecraft and payload criteria at the basic physics level. This course elaborates on Space Station flight operations, its supporting elements and planned systems. Students will study commercial applications, logistical support, maintenance and servicing design concepts. (Prerequisites: SPST200 or SPST300)
SPST440 Stars and Galaxies (3 semester hours)
This course is designed to familiarize students with celestial objects found beyond the Solar System. Students learn about the origin and evolution of stars and galaxies. Topics covered in the course include main sequence stars, red giants, white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes. Galaxy classification is also considered. Students have the opportunity to use the new APUS remote observatory for celestial observations.
SPST445 Space Transportation Systems (3 semester hours)
This course evaluates Space Transportation Systems (STS) including manned space flight operations, supporting systems and the Space Shuttle mission, both present and future. Included are manned space flight operations, supporting systems and the Space Shuttle mission, both present and future. A review of Space Shuttle flight profiles, guidance and navigation control, proximity operations and rendezvous and a brief review of hypersonic orbiter aerodynamics are included. Also covered are future STS applications to space station logistical operations, commercial applications and Department of Defense operations. (Prerequisites: SPST200 or SPST300)
SPST465 Space Weather (3 semester hours)
The relatively new science of space weather has significant influence on both the space program, and our increasingly technology-dependent society. Space weather is largely the result of solar activity, including sunspots, solar wind and solar flares and their interaction with the Earth's magnetic field. This course will discuss this Sun-Earth connection, its implications for both Earth-bound and space activities, and the current state of space weather study and prediction.(Prerequisites: SPST200 or SPST300)
SPST485 Space Wargaming (3 semester hours)
This course promotes the understanding and effective use of space power while providing insight into the shaping and consequences of strategic decisions made in a space wargame. Students explore critical space issues in-depth and investigate the integration activities of multiple agencies associated with space systems and services. The course includes an overview of wargaming, the reasons why we wargame, and the history of wargaming. It then examines the space environment and why we wargame in space, even though there has never been a conflict in that domain. Next is an overview of Thor’s Hammer (the National Reconnaissance Office’s wargame) and the Schriever wargame series, followed by lessons learned from each wargame and how wargames affect military strategy. This course allows students to think critically about the importance of space assets and how best to protect them.
SPST499 Senior Seminar in Space Studies (3 semester hours)
Analyses of specific issues will be conducted that will include a review of national space organizations, objectives in past, current, and future aerospace exploration/exploitation, Space Law, government/military and commercial space industrial programs, and examine future trends in space operations. Students will review and analyze the problem solving process with consideration for the economic, social benefit, and security implications of these decisions on national and global scales. This capstone course will provide students with the opportunity to complete an approved academic research exercise that demonstrates their knowledge of their selected field of study. (Prerequisite: Completion of a minimum of 106 hours towards your program)