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Space Exploration


Interest in the heavens is as old as humanity. In North America, participation in the scientific study of space began in colonial times. During the nineteenth century there was both national and international competition to build ever more capable astronomical observatories. These antecedents provide the background for the main focus of the course — manned vehicles. A space station was described in an 1869 novel, an early example of science fiction eventually becoming reality. A description of various space stations, from the Russian Mir to the Chinese Tiangong will be presented, along with geopolitical commentary. The Gateway station, which is planned to be constructed in a lunar orbit during the last half of the present decade, will also be described. The discussion will then turn to manned lunar landings, beginning with the 1969 Apollo mission, and followed by a description of NASA’s Space Launch System, the giant rocket being used in the Artemis program to land a crew on the moon some time in the next few years. Finally, an assessment will be provided of SpaceX and their plans to build a colony on Mars. Suggested reading: “The Long Space Age’” Alexander MacDonald, Yale University Press, 2017 (downloadable on Kindle).


Instructor Dr. Barrows received his Bachelor’s degree from Princeton in 1966 and a doctorate from MIT in 1971. He worked at Draper Laboratory for 38 years before retiring in 2021. His last decade at Draper was spent on NASA’s Artemis program. He is the lead author of a recent book, Dynamics and Simulation of Flexible Rockets.





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Wednesday, January 17, 2024, 10:00 AM until Wednesday, February 7, 2024, 11:30 AM
on Zoom - Zoom link will be sent by email close to the start of the first class

Additional Info:
Event Contact(s):
Tim Barrows
Winter 2024
Registration is required
Payment In Full In Advance Only
You must be an active CSC member to register for this course.
Cancellation Policy:
A member may cancel a course registration up to 3 days prior to the start of class and will receive a course credit that can be used for a future registration. No refunds will be given.
Available Slots: