Designing Space Missions and Systems


Designing Space Missions and Systems

Created by

Last Update:

June 7, 2024
Current Status
Not Enrolled
Get Started
This course is currently closed

This course is available with a live instructor
onsite or through a virtual platform.

COMING SOON:  This course is also available 
prerecorded, working at your own pace.

Access Course

A Practical Approach to Achieving Technical Baselines

Course Description:

This course examines the real-world application of the entire space systems engineering discipline. Using a process-oriented approach, the course starts with basic mission objectives and examines the principles and practical methods for mission design and operations in depth. Interactive discussions focus on initial requirements definition, operations concept development, architecture trade-offs, payload design, bus sizing, subsystem definition, system manufacturing, verification and operations. This is a hands-on course with a focus on applications.  Design exercises are conducted to give first-hand experience with the techniques presented and gain experience with mission design trade-offs. This course is designed for systems engineers, payload principle investigators, subsystem engineers or project managers who are responsible for the detailed design and operation of space systems.   

At the end of this course you will have the knowledge, tools and experience to start with a blank sheet of paper and design an effective space mission to meet a broad set of objectives, or critically analyze proposed mission designs with insight into the critical trade-offs between cost, schedule, performance and risk. You’ll walk away with….

  • An enhanced understanding of the big picture of space missions and systems
  • A detailed working knowledge of how all the elements of a space mission work and the key trades that lead to a successful mission
  • Practical experience with applying systems engineering processes to develop conceptual designs for space missions and systems
  • An organized framework for future space learning—on your own, in academic courses, or other short courses
  • Earn 80% on the final exam and receive our Certified Space Mission Designer digital badge that can be shared on social media
  • Applied Space Systems Engineering
  • Space Mission Design (FireSAT Example) 
    • Mission Scope and ConOps
    • Mission-level Trade-offs
    • Design Solutions and Requirements Capture
  • Orbits & Trajectories 
    • Launch & Space Environments
    • Understanding Orbits, Describing & Using Orbits
    • Orbit Maneuvers and Orbit Design
    • Ascent/Entry
  • Launch System Services 
    • Derived Requirements and Critical Interfaces
    • Induced Environments
  • Spacecraft Engineering 
    • Spacecraft Architecture Definition
    • Payload Design 
      • Derived & Allocated Requirements
      • Functional Architecture & ConOps
      • Basic Principles, Current Technologies
      • Physical Architectures & Interfaces
    • Spacecraft Allocated Architecture 
      • Subsystem Design (Power, ADCS/GNC, Comm, Propulsion, CDH, Thermal, Structures/Configuration)
  • System Realization 
    • System Implementation (buy, build, re-use)
    • Integration, Verification & Validation, Transition
  • Mission Operations Systems 
    • Functional Architecture
    • Physical Architecture Options
    • Complexity Drivers
  • Mission Evaluation 
    • Technical Risk Assessment and Cost Estimation
  • 23 guided lectures – presented by several of TSTI’s award winning instructors; the equivalent of a semester-long course
  • Continuous feedback on your progress through lesson review questions, quizzes and exams
  • Explore topics in depth via two part homework set to apply what you’ve learned each step of the way
  • 100% self-paced – you have up to 6 months to complete the course on your own time when it is convenient for you!
  • 24/7 access to all course material through our exclusive learning management system
  • Certificate of Completion with 12 Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

At the end of this course you will be able to apply the space mission analysis and design processes, principles, tools and techniques to develop a viable mission concept by:
✦ Defining high level mission goals and objectives
✦ Deriving system and subsystem requirements
✦ Identifying design solution options and drivers
✦ Applying design trade-off tools, techniques and methodologies to select specific solution options
✦ Describing the wider impact of design solutions across the rest of the mission architecture (cost, schedule, risk, integration and test, launch, and operations) 

Module 1: Space Systems Engineering and Mission Design
     • Introduction to Applied Space Systems Engineering
     • Designing Space Missions
Module 2: Mission Constraints and Enablers
     • Space Environment
     • Orbit Design and Applications
     • Launch System Services
     • Technical Risk Management and TRL
     • Digital Engineering Tools and Techniques
Module 3: Spacecraft Design
     • Payloads
     • Spacecraft Architecture
     • Spaceflight Software
Module 4: Subsystem Design
     • EPS
     • ADCS/GNC
     • Propulsion
     • Comm
     • Thermal Control
     • Structures and Configuration
Module 5: Mission and System Implementation
     • Quality/Product Assurance and Standards
     • Assembly, Integration and Verification (AIV)
     • Mission Operations and Ground Systems
     • Cost and Schedule Modeling
Threaded case study throughout

Each participant will receive: • A complete set of course notes with copies of all slides used in the presentation • An e-copy of the Space Mission Analysis & Design-CORE textbook (not included with online course)
Sample Handout
       Course Textbook

Digital badges are web-enabled versions of a credential or certification which can be verified online. Click here for eligibility and request process.