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  • Systems Engineering & Engineering
    Systems Engineering & Engineering

Through discussions of NASA’s past accomplishments, current undertakings, and potential future endeavors—as seen from engineering, scientific, historical, and human perspectives—participants learn to apply these insights in their own daily thinking.

This course is for NASA engineers and technicians who perform “engineering in the service of exploration” and want to gain a better understanding of human spaceflight and robotic missions—past, present, and future—that resulted, or will result, from technological pushes, geopolitical factors, and personal passion.

Common Competencies
  • C 1.1 - Agency Structure, Mission, and Internal Goals

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:

  • Discuss the history, engineering successes, and biographical anecdotes of major NASA human spaceflight missions (including Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, Apollo-Soyuz, Space Shuttle, Shuttle-Mir, and International Space Station).
  • Explain the purpose and accomplishments of major NASA robotic missions, (including early near-Earth, Earth-observation, lunar, inner and outer solar system, and space-based astronomy missions).
  • Examine future NASA missions, technical challenges, and associated timelines for human spaceflight programs (ISS, Constellation, commercial partnerships); robotic missions (James Webb Telescope, Terrestrial Planet Finder, Mars Science Laboratory, Mars Sample Return, Europa ocean exploration) and the challenges involved with sending humans to the moon, Mars, and asteroids.
  • Defend—internally and in public forums—the rationale and importance of the NASA space program, including its significant role in technology research and development, education, exploration, national security, the US economy, and humankind’s long-term survivability.
  • Formulate the “annual cost of NASA” in terms that the public can relate to, and then communicate the message.
  • Employ a myriad of recommended resources for learning more about NASA’s history, present missions, and future endeavors.