For a list of campus courses click here.
The following courses are tentatively scheduled to be offered as part of the online program. Note that courses 593, 996, 997, 998 are available every semester and require department approval prior to registration---contact Bev Fetter.
Note: Space Studies online courses are sometimes difficult to differentiate in the Campus Connection registration system. Class numbers are provided below, which are specific to the online section of each course.
- In Campus Connection, locate the course you want.
- By clicking on either section that is highlighted in blue, the class details will provide the information indicating an online course.
- The location code lists “Space Studies Distance Program” and meeting information as “UND Online.”
On campus courses would list the location code as “University of North Dakota” and provide the meeting information such as “Ryan Hall Room 111 Days and Times: TuTh 9:30 am-10:45 am.”
(Campus Connection Class #)
SpSt 425 Observational Astronomy
Technical Course; Sub-discipline: Applications
This course explores aspects of observational astronomy including monochromatic imaging, astrometry, and photometry. Basic observing techniques, astronomical equipment, characteristics of the night sky, data reduction, interpretations, as well as image processing techniques will be taught. Students will learn to operate a remotely controllable Internet telescope and CCD camera. A broadband Internet connection is recommended. Night observing is required.
Prerequisites: Physics 110; competent algebra and trigonometry skills; knowledge of fundamental calculus is helpful, but not required.
Additional course fee of $100 assessed to cover required software.
This course may also require additional software to be purchased after the class starts. Ordering instructions will be posted on the class syllabus.
Students registering for this course may require a special permission number obtained from Bev Fetter to override the missing undergraduate prerequiste after approval from the instructor.
Required Textbook: (CONFIRMED FOR SPRING 2019)
(1) To Measure the Sky: An Introduction to Observational Astronomy, 2nd Edition. Frederick R. Chromey, Vassar College, New York, 2016. ISBN: 9781107572560 (paperback).
Fieber-Beyer, Sherry email@example.com
SpSt 502 Survey of Space Studies II
SpSt 502 is the second course in a two-course sequence (along with SpSt 501) that introduces new students to essential knowledge that will be necessary to successfully complete their M.S. degree in Space Studies. SpSt 502 consists of the following five modules: 1) space mission design (two modules), 2) orbital mechanics, 3) launch vehicles and propulsion, and 4) robotic spacecraft instrumentation. All modules contain foundational information that will give students the basic knowledge and skills necessary to achieve a broad understanding of the multi- and inter-disciplinary nature of space studies; knowledge that can be applied in later courses, such as Capstone; and knowledge that facilitates thesis and other specialized types of instruction and research. Course content in SpSt 502 will also be used to assess student learning at the end of their M.S. program via the Comprehensive Examination. Students are expected to master and understand course content, be able to apply course content as appropriate, and demonstrate their understanding of course content prior to graduation.
Required textbook: No Textbooks required or recommended (Confirmed for Spring 2019)de Leon, Pablo firstname.lastname@example.org
SpSt 506 Advanced Orbital Mechanics
Technical Course; Sub-discipline: Space Engineering
This course provides a working knowledge of the field of orbital mechanics including the use of appropriate mathematical and computational techniques, the analysis of professional papers in orbital mechanics, and applying the appropriate techniques to solve orbital mechanics problems. Topics covered include orbital elements, perturbations, coordinate systems, orbit determination, and multi-body gravitational problems.
Prerequisites: SpSt 500 and Math 266 Elementary Differential Equations or the equivalent.
Required Textbook: (confirmed for spring 2019; look for newest printing)
Orbital Mechanics for Engineering Students by Howard Curtis, 3rd Edition 2013. Butterworth-Heinemann. ISBN-13: 978-0080977478 (hardcover); 978-9351071914 (paperback)Fevig, Ron email@example.com
SpSt 512 Human Performance in Extreme Environments
Technical Course; Sub-discipline: Human Factors
This course introduces the area of human performance in extreme environment, highlights differences and similarities between extreme environments, and demonstrates that lessons learned from one extreme environment can be effectively applied to others - though settings like space, mountains, or the ocean's depths, etc. - pose unique characteristics, the human physiological and psychological reactions and adaptations to these extreme settings stay similar.
Space environments vs. Earth extreme environments
• Physics & chemistry of space environments
- Space hazards and threats
- Human subject performance environments in space
• Specifics of Operational Environments (OE): general
• Social-psychological environment: small groups under
high stress conditions
• Space as multiple integrative stresses environment
Living & working in space: space and extreme
environment stresses overview
• Human’s physiology as a response to Earth’s Biosphere
• Life Support (LS) approaches and technology readiness level
- Primary Life Support (PLS): air, water, food supplies
- Environmental control & hardware operation
-- Hypobaric & Hyperbaric environments
-- Alternating air compositions
-- Temperature & Humidity endurance
-- Environment toxicity & microbial
-- Radiation exposure limits
-- ‘Technology dependence stress’ (Psycho-
- Physiological stresses (Space Adaptation
Syndrome), tolerance & countermeasures
-- Respiratory function and oxygen demands
-- Heart & blood vessels in ‘normal’ environments and
Required Textbook: (CONFIRMED FOR SPRING 2018)
1. Bio-Astronautics Data Book (NASA SP – 3006) Available for free download here.
Recommended Textbooks for human factors specialization:
1. Performing in Extreme Environments by Lawrence Armstrong. 2000 Edition. Publisher: Human Kinetics. ISBN-13: 978-0880118378 (paperback).
2. Fundamentals of Space Life Sciences, Churchill S. et al. Volumes 1 & 2. Krieger Publishing Company. 1997. ISBN-13: 978-0894640513 (hardcover).
3. Living Aloft: Human Requirements For Extended Space Flight by Connors, Harrison, and Akins. 1985 Edition. Publisher: NASA. ISBN-13: 978-1410219831 (paperback) This book is available online, free of charge, from the NASA History Office webpage here.Nelson, Travis
SpSt 520 Asteroids, Meteorites & Comets
Technical course; Sub-discipline: Planetary Science
The small bodies of the solar system provide clues to the origin and early history of the solar system. The planets and larger moons have all been chemically transformed erasing their records of their formation. By contrast, many asteroids, meteorites and comets are essentially unmodified from the time of their origin 4.5 billion years ago and thus preserve a record of the formation epoch. Each of these classes of objects is investigated separately, and relationships between them are examined. Implications for impact hazards and for extraterrestrial resources are also explored. The results of recent and current spacecraft missions to asteroids (e.g., Galileo, NEAR, DAWN, Hayabusa, Rosetta, OSIRIS-Rex, etc.) and to comets (e.g. Giotto, Vega 1, Stardust, Deep Impact, Rosetta, etc.) are reviewed.
- Introduction to Course / Overview of Topics
- Basics of Mineralogy and Geochemistry
- Introduction to Meteorites
- Introduction to Asteroids
- Basics Principles of Orbits
- Overview and History of Meteoritics
- Iron and Stony-iron Meteorites
- Asteroid Sizes, Rotations and Families
- Asteroid Surface Compositions
- Chondritic Parent Bodies
- Achondrite Parent Bodies
- Iron and Stony-Iron Parent Bodies
- Diversity of Asteroids and Meteorite Parent Bodies
- Delivering Meteorites from Asteroids
- Gaspra, Ida, Mathilde, and Eros
- Importance of Asteroids and Meteorites
- Compositions of Comets
- Origin and Evolution of Comets
- Interplanetary Dust
- Meteor Showers
- Lunar and Martian Meteorites, Tektites & Impacts
- Comets, Asteroids and the Origin of the Solar System
- Comets, Asteroids and the Origin of Life
- Summary and Overview
Required Textbooks: (Confirmed for Spring 2019)
Meteorites and Their Parent Bodies (2nd ed.) by H. Y. McSween, Jr. Publisher: Cambridge. ISBN: 978-0521587518 (paperback).
The New Solar System (4th ed.) by Beatty, Petersen and Chaikin Publisher: Cambridge. ISBN: 978-0933346864 (paperback). NOTE: The pages of this book can be downloaded---somewhat awkwardly--following instructions provided on the class website. Currently, this book is out of print but relatively inexpensive copies can be obtained from a variety of internet book dealers.Gaffey, Mike firstname.lastname@example.org
SpSt 540 Space Economics and Commerce
Social Course; Sub-discipline: Management
A study of the economic aspects of space activities, with analysis of the possibilities and the barriers. Key areas include launch services, satellite communications, remote sensing, microgravity materials processing, and interaction with the government. Global competition against subsidies or government-sponsored entities is examined.
- Why economics?
- Review of relevant economic theory
- Relationships of space industry with economic environment
- Economic impact of commercial space on U.S. economy
- Government space budgets
- Structure of selected space industries
- Regulatory issues
- International effects
- Insurance in support of space industry
- Economic analyses
- Engineering economic considerations
- Financial effects of quality and reliability
- Cost estimation of space systems (CER)
- Life cycle costing
- Economics of Apollo, Faster-Better-Cheaper (FBC), Constellation
- Launch costing
- Investment and entrepreneurship
- Economics of New Space and space tourism
Required Textbook: None. See course syllabus for further details. (confirmed for Spring 2019)Kugler, David
SpSt 552 History of Astronomy and Cosmology
Social Course; Sub-discipline: History
This course investigates the history of human endeavors to understand the stars, planets, and cosmos as a whole from a scientific perspective. It covers the early observations and theories of the Babylonians and Greeks through the European Scientific Revolution, and finally to the development of astrophysics and modern cosmology using space vehicles.
Typical Course Outline
|1||1 & 6||Prehistoric and Pre-Columbian|
|2||2 & 3||Ancient Egypt & Mesopotamia|
|3||4||Greek & Roman|
|4||5 & 7||China, India, Japan, Persia|
|5||8 & 9||Islam|
|6||10||Medieval & Early Renaissance Europe|
|7||11 & 12||Copernicus, Tycho & Kepler|
|8||13 & 14||The New Astronomy|
|9||15||Precision and Astrophysics|
|10||16||Galaxies, Stars, Atoms|
|14||19||Space Astronomy-Stars & Galaxies|
Required Textbook: (TEXTBOOK INFO CONFIRMED FOR SPRING 2019)
Cosmos: An Illustrated History of Astronomy and Cosmology by John North, University of Chicago Press, 2008. ISBN: 978-0226594415 (paperback).Dodge, Michael email@example.com
SpSt 575 Remote Sensing Law & Policy
Social Course; Sub-discipline: Law
"This course focuses on the evolving laws, policies, and institutions that have long-term ramifications for earth observations. Some topics addressed are the United Nations Principles on Remote Sensing, the U.S. Land Remote Sensing Policy Act of 1992, the commercialization of remote sensing activities, as well as manned and unmanned aerial remote sensing systems and their intersection with criminal and civil law. The course will also analyze current and developing remote sensing law, regulations, and technological capabilities, and their implications for both legal and cultural conceptualizations of privacy. At the U.S. domestic level, this will involve 4th Amendment jurisprudence, privacy laws, and case law."
Required Textbook: (Textbook info confirmed for Spring 2019)
No textbook required. Readings will be provided during class.Dodge, Michael firstname.lastname@example.org
SpSt 590 Space Studies Colloquium
A series of invited lectures presented by visiting lecturers and faculty.
May be repeated up to 2 credits.
Graded as pass/fail (S/U).
Required Textbooks: None (Confirmed for Spring 2018)Casler, James email@example.com
SpSt 595 Space Studies Capstone
The capstone course integrates, extends and applies knowledge gained in earlier Space Studies courses and reading. The major component of this course is a collaborative team project inter-relating policy, technology and science. This course is required for all students who select the non-thesis option and can be taken after completing at least 25 credits in the program. The course concludes with a required week-long capstone experience on the UND campus in the Spring.
Additional course fee of $110 assessed to cover Capstone Week expenses.
Prerequisites: SpSt 501 and 502
Required Textbook: None (Confirmed for Spring 2019)Fevig, Ron firstname.lastname@example.org
SpSt 527 Extraterrestrial Resources
Technical Course; Sub-discipline: Planetary Science
This course focuses on the inventory, accessibility, acquisition, processing and utilization of extraterrestrial resources (space resources) from celestial bodies such as the Moon, Mars, asteroids, and comets. Consideration will be given to extraterrestrial resources for in situ utilization (such as a Lunar or Martian base), for space operations (such as supporting large scale near-Earth activities or a human Mars mission), and for terrestrial markets. The course will focus on the interplay between the scientific, technical, and economic aspects of acquiring and utilizing such resources. The course will also explore some of the legal and political ramifications and limitations of claiming and recovering space resources.
- Introduction and Course Structure
- Why consider extraterrestrial resources?
- The Way the Future Was - History of Space Resources
- Getting there and back - Orbital Mechanics
- Inventory of Space Resources: Lunar Geology
- Inventory of Space Resources: Meteorites
- Inventory of Space Resources: Asteroids & NEOs
- Inventory of Space Resources: Mars Geology
- Inventory of Space Resources: Martian Moons
- Shuttle tanks / “Dead” satellites / Space debris
- Resource utilization: History as a guide to future
- Demand / Markets for Space Resources
- Propulsion options - Chemical / Ion / Nuclear
- Propulsion options - Solar Sail / “Mass driver” / Exotic
- Mining and Extracting Raw Materials – General
- Mining and Extracting Space Resources by Object
- Processing Space Resources – General
- Case Study: Propellant production – Lunar
- Case Study: Propellant production – Mars
- Mars Propellant Production: Implications for Martian activities
- Asteroid Space Mining - Options, Prospects and Products
- Future Space Activities: Demand? / Pricing? / Where?
- Infrastructure - Minimum & Optimum
- Infrastructure - Minimum & optimum
- Resources and Hazard Abatement
- ET Resource Implementation: Social and Cultural Aspects
- Summary and Review
Required Textbook: None. Students will be directed to online readings in the course syllabus.Gaffey, Mike email@example.com
SpSt 570 Adv. Topics in Space Studies: Scientific Writing: Proposals
The goal of this course is to teach students in the field of space science to become more effective writers when applying for financial grants from public or private institutions, especially NASA. Topics include principles of good writing, tricks for writing more effectively and efficiently, the format of a scientific grant and its associated writing, and the peer-review process.
No textbooks required. (Confirmed for Summer 2019)Fieber-Beyer, Sherry firstname.lastname@example.org
SpSt 581 Field Visits to Space Centers
Social Course; Sub-discipline: Policy
This course will provide a first-hand knowledge of selected space centers in the U.S. and/or abroad through an organized field visit. The field visit will be led by a space studies faculty and will include prior preparation through readings, class seminars, lectures and written assignments.
May be repeated up to a maximum of 3 credits.
Graded as pass/fail (S/U).
Required Textbook: None (Confirmed for Spring 2017)Dodge, Michael email@example.com
Courses and course information are subject to change without notice.