Space Studies (SPST)
SPST 200. Introduction to Space Studies. 3 Credits.
An introduction to a range of topics in space studies including: an overview of planetary science, stellar evolution and the history of the universe; a brief view of the history of national and international activities, an examination of the fundamentals of space flight and human activity in space, a review of some current problems and issues in the space arena, and a projection of the future course of space activities in the coming decades. This is a required course for an undergraduate minor in space studies. F,S.
SPST 220. Space Science and Exploration. 3 Credits.
Revolutionary advances that have occurred in astronomy, the earth sciences and planetary science as a result of our entry into space. This course surveys the manned and robotic space missions which have gathered data for this new view of the Universe. The course introduces current concepts in cosmological theory as well as an overview of planetary evolution, solar system dynamical processes and physical characteristics of the planets. Prerequisite: SPST 200. S.
SPST 270. History of the Space Age. 3 Credits.
This course introduces students to the history of human endeavors in space. These include the development of rocketry, the influence of amateur societies and science fiction, the military development of ballistic missiles, and human and robotic spaceflight. Prerequisite: SPST 200 or HIST 102 or HIST 104. F.
SPST 300. The Case for Space. 3 Credits.
This is a multidisciplinary course that will examine the rationales for a wide variety of space exploration and development activities. Topics will include human space flight, space science missions, military and commercial space activities, space resource utilization, and the benefits and problems that society derives from these activities. The socioeconomic, socio-political and multi-cultural impact of space activities--nationally and globally--will be discussed and debated with the goal of providing students with a broad perspective of the varying effects of space activities on modern society. Prerequisite: SPST 200. F, even years.
SPST 310. Introduction to Dinosaurs. 3 Credits.
This course provides a broad introduction to dinosaurs and an examination of the extra-terrestrial influence that appears to have led to their extinction, and which thus redirected the evolution of life on Earth. Each of the major dinosaur groups (theropods such as T. rex, sauropods such as Brontosaurus (Apatosaurus), duckbills, armored dinosaurs such as Stegosaurus, horned dinosaurs such as Triceratops, etc.) is examined as well as their cousins in the air (pterosaurs) and sea (ichthyosaurs & plesiosaurs). The course reviews our current models of their origin, evolution, lifestyles, diet, reproductive behavior, and physiology. We examine the data and reasoning that leads to and updates these models. The course also places the dinosaurs in the context of Earth as a geologically evolving planet. The various theories for the dinosaur extinction will be outlined and evaluated. Learning tools include videos (both scientific and popular), dinosaur fossils, and scale models. On demand.
SPST 360. NASA. 3 Credits.
An examination of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). NASA was formed in 1958 out of the existing National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA) and elements from the Army and Navy -- but not the Air Force -- space programs. This course will examine the technologies, the history and the politics involved in each of the NASA elements -- including the one "new" center not inherited from earlier organizations: the Johnson Space Center in Houston. The course will conclude with a picture of NASA today. Prerequisite: SPST 200 or consent of instructor. F.
SPST 405. Space Mission Design. 3 Credits.
A team design project to develop the requirements for a space mission. The specific mission will vary from time to time. Design teams will work on selected portions of the mission. Accompanying lectures will provide background material. Prerequisite: SPST 200. S.
SPST 410. Life Support Systems. 3 Credits.
A review of the physiological effects of living in space including a discussion of current and near-term life support systems equipment for the provision of oxygen, water, food, and radiation protection. In addition, a review will be made of the issues associated with the development of fully closed ecological life-support systems that will be essential to the long-term development of space. Prerequisite: SPST 200. On demand.
SPST 425. Observational Astronomy. 3 Credits.
This course provides an introduction to observational astronomy and includes three segments: basic observing techniques and astronomical equipment (telescopes, CCDs); visual observing and the characteristics of the night sky; astrometric and photometric observing, data reduction, and interpretations; and image processing and color imaging techniques. Students will learn to operate a remotely controllable Internet telescope and CCD camera. A broadband Internet connection is recommended. Night observing is required. Course fee. Prerequisite: PHYS 110. On demand.
SPST 430. Earth System Science. 3 Credits.
This course begins with a review of the physical sciences of geology, meteorology and oceanography to examine the coupled interactions between the land, atmosphere and oceans. Particular emphasis is placed on remote sensing techniques for global monitoring of biogeochemical processes. The role of human activities on Earth processes and the consequences of global environmental changes are discussed. The growing use of space-based data sets and the implications of Earth Observing System technologies, including research goals and hardware requirements, are examined. Prerequisite: SPST 200. On demand.
SPST 435. Global Change. 3 Credits.
The current human population represents something unprecedented in the history of the world. Never before has one species had such a great impact on the environment in such a short time and continued to increase at such a rapid rate. Human activities are therefore significantly influencing the Earth's environment in many ways in addition to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Anthropogenic changes to Earth's land surfaces, oceans, coasts, and atmosphere and to biological diversity, the water cycle and biogeochemical cycles are clearly identifiable beyond natural variability. This course investigates the many facets of global change issues, and attempts to provide an up-to-date introduction to the study of the Earth's environment. F, even years.
SPST 450. International Space Programs. 3 Credits.
This course will introduce students to the major governmental space programs around the world. The history, activities and future directions of the Russian/Soviet, European/ESA, Chinese, Japanese, Indian and other space programs will be explored. International collaborations between the various programs will also be studied. Prerequisite: SPST 200. On demand.
SPST 460. Life in the Universe. 3 Credits.
This course examines the nature and evolution of life on Earth from its origin to the present time in the context of cosmological evolution, chemical evolution, planetary evolution, biological evolution, and cultural evolution. The possibility of life elsewhere in the universe is considered based on the conditions under which life could arise and flourish. Human changes to the Earth are placed within this context. The future of life on Earth is discussed and the social and cultural implications arising from the discovery of extraterrestrial life are explored. On demand.
SPST 470. Special Topics in Space Studies. 1-3 Credits.
Lecture, discussion and readings on specific topics of current interest. May be repeated for credit if topic is different up to a total of 6 credits. Prerequisite: SPST 200. Repeatable to 6 credits. On demand.
SPST 480. Readings in Space Studies. 1-3 Credits.
Directed student readings designed to develop advanced knowledge in a specific area. A written report is required. May be repeated for a total of six credits. Prerequisite: SPST 200 or consent of instructor. Repeatable to 6 credits. F,S,SS.
SPST 491. Independent Study. 2 Credits.
An independent study project culminating in a paper on an approved topic in Space Studies. Requires regular meetings with the instructor. Prerequisites: SPST 200, senior standing, 15 hours of Space Studies, and consent of instructor. F,S,SS.
SPST 500. Introduction to Orbital Mechanics. 3 Credits.
This course introduces students without much background in either mathematics or physics to the problems faced everyday by orbital analysts as they track the 7000 satellites which orbit the earth. The course gives the students an ability to converse, as managers and co-workers, with those individuals who are calculating these difficult orbits. This appreciation is important in both the civilian and military sides of the space program. On demand.
SPST 501. Survey of Space Studies I. 3 Credits.
SPST 501 is the first course in a two-course sequence (along with SPST 502) in Space Studies that introduces new students to essential knowledge that will be necessary to successfully complete their M.S. degree in space studies. SPST 501 consists of the following six modules: 1) space history, 2) space policy, 3) space law, 4) planetary and space sciences, 5) space life sciences and human factors, and 6) Earth remote sensing. All modules contain foundational information that will give students the basic knowledge and skills necessary to achieve a broad understanding of the multi- and inter-disciplinary nature of space studies; knowledge that can be applied in later courses, such as Capstone; and knowledge that facilitates thesis and other specialized types of instruction and research. Course content in SPST 501 will also be used to assess student learning at the end of their M.S. program via the Comprehensive Examination. Students are expected to master and understand course content, be able to apply course content as appropriate, and demonstrate their understanding of course content prior to graduation. F.
SPST 502. Survey of Space Studies II. 3 Credits.
SPST 502 is the second course in a two-course sequence (along with SPST 501) in Space Studies that introduces new students to essential knowledge that will be necessary to successfully complete their M.S. degree in space studies. SPST 502 consists of the following five modules: 1) space mission design (two modules), 2) orbital mechanics, 3) launch vehicles and propulsion, and 4) robotic spacecraft instrumentation. All modules contain foundational information that will give students the basic knowledge and skills necessary to achieve a broad understanding of the multi- and inter-disciplinary nature of space studies; knowledge that can be applied in later courses, such as Capstone; and knowledge that facilitates thesis and other specialized types of instruction and research. Course content in SPST 502 will also be used to assess student learning at the end of their M.S. program via the Comprehensive Examination. Students are expected to master and understand course content, be able to apply course content as appropriate, and demonstrate their understanding of course content prior to graduation. S.
SPST 504. Research Methods in Space Studies. 3 Credits.
This course will provide an introduction to research in Space Studies emphasizing the preparation of a Ph.D. proposal and the dissertation itself. Course content will be tailored to address the specific research methods applicable to the student(s) research interests. Typically given by the student's advisor, but students preparing in the same area (e.g., Planetary Science, Astronomy) may be in a combined section. On demand.
SPST 505. Spacecraft Systems Engineering. 3 Credits.
This course will guide the students through the spacecraft design and proposal process for an actual mission. In this course the students will work in teams on individual spacecraft subsystems, participate in an engineering design review, and create a document which can be submitted for funding for a small satellite project. Lectures will provide an overview of the separate spacecraft subsystems involved in a typical mission, the systems engineering approach to spacecraft development, and the grant writing process. Distance students will interact with on-campus students via conferencing software. Prerequisite: SPST 405 or consent of instructor.
SPST 506. Advanced Orbital Mechanics. 3 Credits.
This course provides a working knowledge of the field of orbital mechanics including the use of appropriate mathematical and computational techniques, the analysis of professional papers in orbital mechanics, and applying the appropriate techniques to solve orbital mechanics problems. Topics covered include orbital elements, perturbations, coordinate systems, orbit determination, and multi-body gravitational problems. Prerequisites: SPST 500, and MATH 266 or equivalent.
SPST 508. Quality Engineering for the Space Industry. 3 Credits.
This course addresses the principles and techniques for establishing quality goals, identification of customer needs and requirements, measurement of quality, and product/process engineering to improve system performance with a focus on the space industry. The main objectives are to provide the student with an understanding of the principles and practice of quality and reliability engineering in general and to provide an in-depth understanding of the quality assurance concepts, strategies, and tools practiced in the space industry. Familiarity with the techniques learned in this course will enable the student to address problems in the design, implementation, measurement, and correction of production and service systems found in the space industry. On demand.
SPST 512. Human Performance in Extreme Environments. 3 Credits.
This course introduces the area of human performance in extreme environments, highlights differences and similarities between extreme environments, and demonstrates the lessons learned from one extreme environment can be effectively applied to others--though settings like space, mountains, or the ocean's depths, etc. pose unique characteristics, the human physiological and psychological reactions and adaptations to these extreme settings stay similar.
SPST 515. Human Factors in Space. 3 Credits.
A review of the major stresses experienced by humans on entering the new and alien environment of space. Examples will be taken from the psychological and physiological impacts experienced by U.S. and Soviet crews with emphasis on longer flights. How to avoid and/or overcome these stresses will be examined as an essential and growing need in the future development and settlement of the space frontier.
SPST 517. Human Spaceflight Systems. 3 Credits.
This course is designed to introduce students to human space systems. The course uses both an engineering and a historical approach to human spaceflight systems covering all manned spacecraft up to today, plus individual subsystems necessary for human occupation. By the end of the course, students will: 1. Understand the engineering and science concepts related to human spaceflight, 2. Understand the major technologies required for human spaceflight, 3. Apply the systems engineering process to a human spaceflight mission: a. Describe the interactions among the elements of a space mission, b. Describe the interactions among all spacecraft subsystems, c. Document design decisions and analysis in a clear and concise manner. F, even years.
SPST 519. Closed Ecological Systems for Life Support. 3 Credits.
Closed ecological systems have been suggested during the early decades of space exploration for extended life support in space operations. In reality, this principle of long-term life support mimics global biogeochemical cycles supporting life on Earth. The course covers the multiple interactions of human/bioregenerative life support based on physical/chemical regeneration (hybrid) life support environments. Extensive research in this area during more than five decades showed that material turnover in small closed environments becomes unstable compared to a planetary environment. Specific attention is paid to the limits of stability for closed material cycles functioning during long-term remote confined missions; and the importance of the human factor as a target link, main sensor, and main integrator and control element for the system providing significant self-sustainability under proper motivation. Advanced scenarios for space life support based on ecological and in situ resource utilization approaches are discussed. On demand.
SPST 520. Asteroids, Meteorites and Comets. 3 Credits.
The small bodies of the solar system provide clues to the origin and early history of the solar system. The planets and larger moons have all been chemically transformed erasing their records of their formation. By contrast, many asteroids, meteorites and comets are essentially unmodified from the time of their origin 4.5 billion years ago and thus preserve a record of the formation epoch. Each of these classes of objects is investigated separately, and relationships between them are examined. Implications for impact hazards and for extraterrestrial resources are also explored. The results of recent and current spacecraft missions to asteroids (e.g., Galileo, NEAR, DAWN, Hayabusa, Rosetta, OSIRIS-Rex, etc.) and to comets (e.g. Giotto, Vega 1, Stardust, Deep Impact, Rosetta, etc.) are reviewed. On demand.
SPST 521. The Planet Mars. 3 Credits.
This course provides an in-depth review of the present state of our knowledge of the planet Mars. Topics that are covered include: the origin and evolution of the planet, the surface geology and geological processes, the geophysical properties of the Martian interior, the origin and evolution of the Martian atmosphere, the present and past climates of Mars, the Martian moons, and the possibility of past or present life on Mars. The American, Soviet/Russian and other nations' Mars exploration programs are reviewed and the course incorporates the most recent results from spacecraft missions such as Mars Odyssey, the Mars Exploration Rovers (Opportunity & Spirit), Mars Express (European Space Agency), Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity Rover), MAVEN, and Mangalyaan (India's Mars Orbiter Mission). Potential future manned and unmanned missions are also discussed. On demand.
SPST 522. Remote Sensing Principles. 3 Credits.
This course covers the basic concepts and foundations of remote sensing, a review of major Earth observing satellite and aircraft platforms, and an investigation of flow of data from satellite to Earth, what it represents, and how to interpret it, using both visual and digital image processing techniques. A field visit to the EROS Data Center in Sioux Falls may also be arranged.
SPST 523. Remote Sensing Applications. 3 Credits.
This course covers the use of advanced image processing algorithms and information extraction techniques for various Earth resource applications such as land cover/land use, environmental change detection, geology, oceanography, agriculture, forestry, rangeland, water resources, urban planning, natural disaster management, etc. Prerequisite: SPST 522.
SPST 524. Current Topics in Astrobiology. 3 Credits.
This is a multi-disciplinary, literature-intensive examination of astrobiology, which is the study of life in the universe. Students will read scientific research and review papers from a variety of disciplines including astronomy, planetary science, chemistry, biology, and geology. Course goals include: developing proficiency at reading/analyzing diverse scientific papers, developing the ability to incorporate knowledge from multiple disciplines in the study of astrobiological research, and developing the ability to effectively write summary papers to show basic understanding of course material. Prerequisite: SPST 460 or consent of instructor. On demand.
SPST 525. Technical Issues in Space. 1-3 Credits.
An examination of the technological base for the exploration and development of space. An understanding of this technology and of its impact is essential to an understanding of the issues and problems associated with our continuing efforts to explore and settle this new frontier. May be repeated if the topic is different. Repeatable.
SPST 526. Astronomical and Spacecraft Instrumentation. 3 Credits.
This course will concentrate on instrument design, operation, and the resulting data products generated by ground- and space-based astronomical observatories, as well as common instrumentation used in NASA scientific solar system spacecraft. Key goals for this course include gaining a solid understanding of instrumental principles of operation, the types of raw data that are generated, and the types of data reduction processes that lead to interpretable data. The course will include an investigation of different types of spectrographs and spectroscopy data products, solar instrumentation (ground- and space-based), terrestrial and Jovian spacecraft orbiter/flyby instrumentation, terrestrial planet rover and lander instrumentation, and extra-solar system astrophysical instrumentation. Students will have the opportunity to examine, reduce, and interpret select data sets. Prerequisites: SPST 425 and MATH 165 or consent of instructor. On demand.
SPST 527. Extraterrestrial Resources. 3 Credits.
This course focuses on the inventory, accessibility, acquisition, processing and utilization of extraterrestrial resources (space resources) from celestial bodies such as the Moon, Mars, asteroids and comets. Consideration will be given to extraterrestrial resources for in situ utilization (such as a Lunar or Martian base), for space operations (such as supporting large scale near-Earth activities or a human Mars mission), and for terrestrial markets. The course will focus on the interplay between the scientific, technical, and economic aspects of acquiring and utilizing such resources. The course will also explore some of the legal and political ramifications and limitations of claiming and recovering space resources. On demand.
SPST 528. Space Environment and the Sun. 3 Credits.
This course will provide an in-depth study of the science and observations of the Sun, space weather, and effects of the Sun on astronauts, Earth, and the space environment. Topics that will be covered include the solar photosphere and active surface phenomena such as sunspots, flares, and coronal mass ejections; the nature of the quiet Sun; the solar interior and helioseismology; space weather and impact of solar particles on the space environment and Earth; the hazards posed to astronauts by solar eruptions; common techniques of solar observations; and a review of the primary types of solar instrumentation and the observatories that currently study the Sun. Students will be able to observe the Sun using the UND Observatory's small solar telescopes; all students will have the opportunity to analyze solar datasets to aid their understanding of the Sun. Prerequisite: MATH 165 or consent of instructor. On demand.
SPST 540. Space Economics and Commerce. 3 Credits.
A study of the economic aspects of space activities, with analysis of the possibilities and the barriers. Key areas include launch services, satellite communications, remote sensing, microgravity materials processing, and interaction with the government. Global competition against subsidies or government-sponsored entities is examined. On demand.
SPST 541. Management of Space Enterprises. 3 Credits.
This course investigates the management of space organizations. These include organizations that are public and private, R&D and operations, profit and non-profit. You will learn the basics of management theory, the history of systems management, and the technical issues that must be considered in the management of space R&D and operations. On demand.
SPST 542. Risk Management of Space Organizations. 3 Credits.
This course includes a systematic approach to the principles and practices of risk management in the space industry from project initiation through planning, implementation, control and closeout. It discusses various techniques and models for qualitative and quantitative risk assessment and risk mitigation in such areas as cost, schedule, and performance. Decision making under conditions of uncertainty and risk is also discussed. On demand.
SPST 545. Space and the Environment. 3 Credits.
This course is an advanced graduate-level review of international relations theories as applied to the international implications of global commons. The course introduces the concept of global commons, examines the theories and practices concerning management of global commons, and analyzes the global commons dealing with the problems of collective action as applied to global environmental change and the uses of outer space. On demand.
SPST 551. History of the Space Age. 3 Credits.
This course introduces students to the history of human endeavors in space. These include the development of rocketry, the influence of amateur societies and science fiction, the military development of ballistic missiles, and human and robotic spaceflight.
SPST 552. History of Astronomy and Cosmology. 3 Credits.
This course investigates the history of human endeavors to understand the stars, planets, and cosmos as a whole from a scientific perspective. It covers the early observations and theories of the Babylonians and Greeks through the European Scientific Revolution, and finally to the development of astrophysics and modern cosmology using space vehicles. On demand.
SPST 555. Military Space Programs. 3 Credits.
An introduction to military uses of space by the United States, Russia, and other nations. The course introduces ballistic missiles, anti-ballistic missile and anti-satellite systems, space-based reconnaissance and intelligence-gathering, communications, navigation, acquisition, and military space treaties. On demand.
SPST 560. Space Politics and Policy. 3 Credits.
This course serves as a graduate-level introduction to the field of Public Policy as applied to Space Policy. The course surveys the evolution of Space Policy at several levels of analysis including context, political actors and institutions, political processes, and policy outcomes, and assesses the symbiotic relationship between policy, technology, and science. On demand.
SPST 561. Public Administration of Space Technology. 3 Credits.
This course is an advanced graduate-level review of Public Administration theories as applied to the implementation of space technology programs. In this course, the political, organizational, and technical variables that affect the management processes of space organizations are examined. Prerequisite: SPST 560 or SPST 541. On demand.
SPST 565. Space Law. 3 Credits.
This course serves as a graduate-level introduction to the field of Law as applied to Space Law. The course examines the origins and evolution of the laws of outer space from the beginnings of the space age to the present. International laws governing access and use of space, and national laws regulating governmental and commercial activities in space are reviewed and analyzed. On demand.
SPST 570. Advanced Topics in Space Studies. 1-3 Credits.
Lecture, discussion and readings on advanced topics of current interest. May be repeated if the topic is different. Repeatable.
SPST 574. Remote Sensing in Developing Countries. 3 Credits.
This course will introduce students to remote sensing programs in developing countries and typical remote sensing application areas pertinent to developing countries, such as: potable water, forest fires, vector diseases, environmental degradation, food security, fisheries, floods, droughts, crop pests, etc., with case studies. Prerequisite: SPST 522 or GEOG 475 or consent of instructor. On demand.
SPST 575. Remote Sensing Law and Policy. 3 Credits.
This course focuses on the evolving laws, policies, and institutions that have long-term ramifications for earth observations. Some topics addressed are the United Nations Principles on Remote Sensing; the United Kingdom's 1984 National remote sensing policy; the Montreal Protocol; and, the United States Land Remote Sensing Policy Act of 1992. Ground segment institutions considered are the Landsat Ground Stations Operations Working Group and the Global Land 1-KM AVHRR Project. Remote sensing litigation that has begun to address various applications of remote sensing will also be considered, and the impact of remote sensing activities on privacy and constitutional law will be examined. Cases include Dow vs US and EOSAT vs NASA and NOAA. On demand.
SPST 581. Field Visit to Space Centers. 1-3 Credits.
This course will provide a first-hand knowledge of selected space centers in the U.S. and/or abroad through an organized field visit. The field visit will be led by a space studies faculty and will include prior preparation through readings, class seminars, lectures and written assignments. May be repeated up to a maximum of 3 credits. Repeatable to 3 credits. S/U grading. On demand.
SPST 590. Space Studies Colloquium. 1 Credit.
A series of lectures presented by visiting lecturers and faculty. May be repeated for up to 2 credits. S/U grading.
SPST 591. Readings in Space Studies. 1-3 Credits.
Readings in selected Space Studies topics, with written and/or oral reports. Repeatable to a maximum of 6 credits. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Repeatable to 6 credits.
SPST 593. Individual Research in Space Studies. 1-3 Credits.
Individual student projects designed to develop advanced knowledge in a specific area of expertise. A written report is required. May be repeated for up to 6 credits for Master's and up to 12 credits for Ph.D. Repeatable to 6 credits.
SPST 595. Space Studies Capstone. 3 Credits.
The capstone course integrates, extends and applies knowledge gained in earlier Space Studies courses and reading. The major component of this course is a collaborative team project inter-relating policy, technology and science. This course is required for distance students who select the non-thesis option and can be taken after completing at least 21 credits in the program, or with the permission of the instructor. The course begins in the fall semester and concludes with a required week-long capstone experience on the UND campus in the spring. Prerequisites: SPST 501 and SPST 502. F.
SPST 996. Continuing Enrollment. 1-12 Credits.
Prerequisite: Department consent. Repeatable. S/U grading.
SPST 997. Independent Study Report. 2 Credits.
Independent study and preparation of a written report for students taking the non-thesis option in the Master's program.
SPST 998. Thesis. 1-6 Credits.
An original research project approved by and completed under the supervision of a thesis committee. Repeatable to 6 credits. Prerequisites: Graduate standing in Space Studies and completion and approval of a thesis proposal (see department for approval). Repeatable to 6 credits.
SPST 999. Dissertation. 1-12 Credits.
An original research project approved by and completed under the supervision of a dissertation committee. Prerequisites: Graduate standing, approval, completion, and defense of dissertation proposal. Repeatable to 18 credits. F,S,SS.