Foundations of Aerospace at NASA (APPEL-FOU)

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Attendees will gain an understanding of the fundamentals of aeronautics and astronautics, as well as an appreciation for the interdependence of key space mission elements.

This course is designed for all NASA employees, particularly engineers, scientists or managers who are either new to the space field or want to broaden their understanding of space systems and operations.

Common Competencies
  • C 1.1 - Agency Structure, Mission, and Internal Goals
  • C 1.2 - NASA Project Management/Systems Engineering
  • C 5.1 - Knowledge Capture and Transfer
  • C 5.2 - Knowledge Sharing

Click here to view full competency model.

APPEL Library Resources

NASA Galaxie Library NASA Galaxie Library Books 24x7 Library Books 24x7 Library
All supplemental resources are NASA accessible only unless otherwise noted.

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe basic aircraft functions including aerodynamics, stability and control, structures, propulsion, and performance.
  • Explain the relationship between basic aircraft functions and aircraft design.
  • Describe NASA’s contributions to the aeronautics industry.
  • Define and describe important astronautics terms and concepts including those related to the space environment; orbit description, prediction and maneuvering; and payload and spacecraft design.
  • Calculate basic orbit and system parameters that drive mission scope and cost.
  • Compare and contrast different technical approaches for space missions.
  • Design a space mission given some basic goals and objectives and develop a top-level project plan for it.
  • Assess the technical merits of various space mission architectures.


Interested in taking this course? Click the date(s) below to register through SATERN.

Registration Question? Contact the training specialist below for assistance.

Dallas Neener
(321) 867-6819

Click here to watch a video tutorial of the APPEL Course Registration Process.



Dr. Michael DeLorenzo (BGen, USAF, retired) is Professor Emeritus at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) and former head of the USAFA Department of Astronautics with over 31 years of research and development experience in astronautical engineering. He has served in numerous Air Force science and engineering leadership positions to include the Vice Commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory, headquartered at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH. His doctoral research was conducted at Purdue University and specialized in the control of large flexible spacecraft.
Dr. Wayne F. Hallgren is a 1975 graduate of West Point, retired Air Force Colonel, and Vice President of Practical Aeronautics. Wayne taught for ten years in the Air Force Academy’s Department of Aeronautics, including two years as Deputy Department Head. He has 25 year's experience in aeronautical engineering, including five years as adjunct faculty to the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School (TPS). He’s flown handling-quality sorties in the F-4, T-38, F-15, A-37, AT-38B, TPS’s variable stability Lear jet, as well as numerous General Aviation aircraft. Wayne is a contributing author to Computational Fluid Dynamics: The Basics with Applications (McGraw-Hill, 1994) and co-author of an Introduction to Aircraft Flight Mechanics, winner of AIAA’s 2006 Summerfield Book Award.


Curriculum Question? Contact the curriculum lead below for assistance.

Ramien Pierre

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