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Introduction to Aerospace Engineering: Astronautics and Human Spaceflight

About this course

Spaceflight is exciting, and you don’t have to be a “Rocket Scientist” to share in the excitement! 16.00x makes the basics of spaceflight accessible to everyone. Join MIT Professor Jeffrey Hoffman, a former NASA astronaut who made five spaceflights and was the first astronaut to log 1000 hours on the Space Shuttle, as he teaches you the core principles behind space travel and exploration. The course will cover how rockets work, how spacecraft move in orbit, how we create artificial environments inside spacecraft to keep astronauts alive and healthy, what it’s like living in a world without gravity, how the human body adapts to space, and how spacewalks happen, plus more. Many lessons will be illustrated with Professor Hoffman’s own experiences in space.

What you'll learn

  • The basic principles of how rockets work (rocket science)
  • How spacecraft move in orbit (orbital mechanics)
  • What is required to keep astronauts alive and healthy in space (environmental control and life support)
  • Basic concepts of safety and risk management
  • The effects of weightlessness on the human body
  • How to carry out a spacewalk

Course staff

Jeffrey Hoffman

Former NASA Astronaut, Professor MIT

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    8 weeks
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