This course will introduce students to the connection between innovative space engineering and the most significant scientific breakthroughs that have resulted from it. This course will first explore the early generation of engineering tools that were turned to the night sky due to curiosity, and the discoveries that were made. These tools fundamentally changed our understanding of what our place in the Universe was, and the exploration led to a new framework for how engineers and scientists partner together to advance space exploration. A long line of observatories, both on the ground and in space, followed and have brought the wonders of the cosmos to humanity. The latest marvel of engineering in this line of engineering tools, a tennis-court sized “eye” in space called the Webb Telescope, was just launched and has revealed the Universe to us in unimaginable ways. It took 20,000 engineers and scientists working over 20 years to enable this mission. The course will explore how these engineering marvels were motivated and built, how they are used, the challenges that were encountered along the way, and how we plan to move forward to chase down even bolder pursuits (e.g., a new generation of robotic engineering experiments to detect life on alien moons in the Solar System).This course is also being given during an era in which space exploration is one of the most exciting, fast-paced, and rapidly growing industries. The increased competition from hundreds of private companies that are entering space is resulting in incredible reductions in the cost to access to space, and has led to an explosion in the number of launches and space-based assets. Lessons in the course will challenge students to explore the modern capabilities of the space industry and how these innovations will power future scientific pursuits.
EN.675.600 Systems Engineering for Space and EN.675.601 Fundamentals of Engineering Space Systems I
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The Bold Science Motivating and Enabled by our Engineering
01/22/2024 - 05/07/2024