Space -- An Introduction

ATI Courses Logo

Broaden Your Knowledge & Increase Productivity

Training Rocket Scientists Since 1984

(410) 956-8805
(888) 501-2100

Space -- An Introduction

3-Day Course


This three day course serves well as both an introductory course and as a refresher course. It appeals to those new to the field as well as specialists that want a broader look at the fundamentals of contemporary space system design and application. Topics include: (1) an introduction to the fundamentals of space sciences and engineering, including cosmology, the near-Earth and space environments, orbital mechanics and propulsion; (2) descriptions of basic space system applications (communications, remote sensing, navigation), how they have evolved, and some of the fundamental engineering characteristics involved in each; and (3) an introduction to space system and mission design including discussions of spacecraft subsystems, launch systems, ground systems and operations, and the mission design (systems engineering) process. Throughout the course, descriptive examples of notable systems, both historic and current, are used to illuminate each topic. The instruction material places emphasis on identifying the important basic concepts and illuminating their influ¬ence on the design of current and future space missions. The course also stresses the ways in which space systems influence the many aspects of our daily lives.

  1. History of Spaceflight. Manned Spaceflight and Unmanned Spaceflight.

  2. Space Environment. Cosmology, Solar Radiation, Electromagnetic Radiation, Particle Radiation, Radiation Belts, the Ionosphere, the Atmosphere, Spacecraft Effects, Man in Space

  3. Orbital Mechanics. Orbital elements and properties. Mission driven design principles. Orbit establishment, maintenance and transfer.

  4. Propulsion and Launch Systems. First principles, staging, launch timing, launch pad location, launch vehicle options.

  5. Satellite Communications. Communications theory, antenna theory, power budget, modulation, digital communications and communi¬cation satellites.

  6. Remote Sensing. Remote sensing principles, spatial performance, spectral or radiometric performance, temporal performance and revisit time, and remote sensing satellites.

  7. Satellite Navigation. Position determination using Doppler techniques, pulse ranging and phase difference positioning, and navigation satellites.

  8. Space Systems. Payload and mission specific systems. Instrument types and systems. Spacecraft bus: power, attitude refer¬ence and control, data handling, etc.

  9. Ground Support Systems. Launch, tracking and data collection and handling.

  10. Mission Design. The design process: systems engineering, system life cycle, system acquisition. Payload and mission design.

  11. Pacing Technologies and Future Design Trends. Payload design trends: communication, remote sensing and navigation. System design trends: power, large structures, launch systems. Manned spaceflight.

Who Should Attend:

This course is not on the current schedule of open enrollment courses. If you are interested in attending this or another course as open enrollment, please contact us at (410) 956-8805 or at and indicate the course name and number of students who wish to participate. ATI typically schedules open enrollment courses with a lead time of 3-5 months. Group courses can be presented at your facility at any time. For on-site pricing, request an on-site quote. You may also call us at (410) 956-8805 or email us at

Tuition for this three-day course is $1990 per person at one of our scheduled public courses. Onsite pricing is available. Please call us at 410-956-8805 or send an email to

Register Now Without Obligation.


Bruce A. Campbell, PhD

Bruce A. Campbell, PhD is an Aerospace Engineering graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, and flew carrier-based jet aircraft before earning a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering/Space Systems Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School. He returned to the Naval Academy in 1985 and helped establish a Space Track of classes there. In the process, he co-authored the text "Introduction to Space Sciences and Spacecraft Applications” which is the basis for this course. Bruce joined NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in 1989 where he has conducted systems engineering and management for several space projects, including as Project Manager for the TIMED mission. His last position was as Manager of Goddard’s design center, overseeing the concept development of future NASA instruments and missions. During this time he also completed work toward a Doctorate in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the George Washington University.

Contact this instructor (please mention course name in the subject line)