2022 Introduction to Space Engineering

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Mechanical Engineering
Matunaga Saburo  Furuya Hiroshi  Chujo Toshihiro  Ogasawara Ko 
Class Format
Lecture    (Blended)
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
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Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
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Course description and aims

The fundamental elements of Space Engineering are explained as follows: Introduction to Space Systems, Space Environment, Coordinate and time systems, Kepler Orbit and 6 elements, Orbit transfer, Hill equation, Orbit Perturbation, Rocket Motion, and so on.

Student learning outcomes

To understand the fundamental elements of Space Engineering.

Course taught by instructors with work experience

Applicable How instructors' work experience benefits the course
In this lecture, fundamental knowledge on space engineering is provided by professors and lecturers who have experiences about research and development of space science satellites in JAXA or rocket in MHI.


Space Systems, Space Environment, Coordinate and time systems, Kepler Orbit and 6 elements, Orbit transfer, Hill equation for relative orbit motion, Orbit Perturbation, Rocket Motion, Reentry and so on.

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

Lecture and reports

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Introduction Space Environment, Coordinate and time systems
Class 2 Two body problem Kepler Orbit
Class 3 Orbital Elements Kepler's six Orbital Elements
Class 4 Orbital position and velocity Orbital position and velocity of Spacecraft
Class 5 Orbital relative motion Hill equation
Class 6 In-plane orbit transfer Hohmann transfer Orbit
Class 7 Out-plane orbit transfer Two or three-impulse orbit transfer
Class 8 Rendevous and docking CW-solution
Class 9 Orbit perturbation Orbit perturbation
Class 10 Orbit planning Orbit design
Class 11 Fundamental of Rocket motion Rocket propulsion and structure sizing
Class 12 Rocket system Rocket orbit plan, system and major subsystem
Class 13 Reentry Reentry example
Class 14 GPS GPS and measurement

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.


Suggested in lectures.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Kaplan, Modern Spacecraft Dynamics & Control, Wiley, 1976.
Chobotov (ed.), Orbital Mechanics, 2nd Ed., AIAA, 1996.
D.A.Valldo, Fundamentals of Astrodynamics and Applications, McGraw-Hill
V.R.Bond and M.C.Allman, Modern Astrodynamics, Princeton Univ Press, 1996.

Assessment criteria and methods

Test and reports

Related courses

  • LAS.M102 : Linear Algebra I / Recitation
  • LAS.M106 : Linear Algebra II
  • CVE.M201 : Basic Mathematics for Physical Science
  • LAS.M102 : Linear Algebra I / Recitation
  • LAS.M106 : Linear Algebra II

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Solid understanding of mechanics, mathematical analysis and linear algebra is required.

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