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Space Mission Operations (APPEL-vSMO)


  • Systems Engineering & Engineering
    Systems Engineering & Engineering

Skill Level: Open to all.

This three-day course explores the challenge of designing and implementing mission operations in a practical, cost-effective way in the real-world. Interactive discussions focus on initial requirements definition, operations concept development, functional allocation among spacecraft, payload, ground system and operators. Students get extensive hands-on experience with a variety of mission operations modeling tools to understand physical constraints and appreciate the impact of programmatic trade-offs. This course divides mission operations into nine interrelated activities: operations planning, flight control, mission data receipt/delivery, tracking and navigation, maintenance and support, spacecraft support and analysis, training, mission data processing and archiving, and customer/user support.

This course is designed for NASA’s technical workforce including systems engineers and project personnel who seek to develop the competencies require to succeed as a leader of a project team, function team or small project.

APPEL Library Resource

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

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

  • Define and explain the critical functions of space.
  • Discuss the inputs, outputs and uses for a space Mission Operations Concept, and be able to critically analyze one of these documents.
  • Describe the elements that contribute to mission operations complexity and perform trade-off analyses to reduce that complexity.
  • Analyze mission orbits to determine ground systems pass characteristics.
  • Describe key elements of mission ground systems.
  • Compare and contrast Mission Operations Concepts for military, civil, scientific and human space missions.
  • Develop and analyze detailed, simulated satellite pass plans.