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SPST425 - Satellite and Spacecraft Systems

Course Details

Course Code: SPST425 Course ID: 3162 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

Orbital satellites and spacecraft are discussed according to their application, design and environment. The power system, shielding and communication systems are reviewed along with their missions, space environment and limitations. This course elaborates on Space Station flight operations, its supporting elements and planned systems. Students will study commercial applications, logistical support, maintenance and servicing design concepts. (Prerequisites: SPST200 or SPST300)


Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
12/31/18 - 05/31/19 06/03/19 - 07/28/19 Spring 2019 Session D 8 Week session
02/25/19 - 08/02/19 08/05/19 - 09/29/19 Summer 2019 Session I 8 Week session
05/27/19 - 11/01/19 11/04/19 - 12/29/19 Fall 2019 Session I 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

Upon completion of this course the student will be able to accomplish the following:

  • CO-1 Identify major satellite components and how they operate.
  • CO-2 Describe the weather satellites and accomplishments.
  • CO-3 Explain the operations of Earth observation and navigation satellites.
  • CO-4 Analyze the operations of military satellites.
  • CO-5 Examine the operations and missions of science and technology satellites.
  • CO-6 Determine how human piloted satellites and interplanetary probes have changed perspectives of Earth and the Universe.

Grades for this course will be based upon four grading instruments. You must complete all assigned tasks in order to pass the course.

Final Exam

The final exam makes up 30 percent of your overall course grade. Questions will require you to have previously read the reading assignments in order to comprehend and correctly respond. The exam must be completed by the last day of the course. The final exam may be turned in up to one day late; however, the grade on the exam will be reduced by 50% if turned in after midnight ET on the last day of the course.


The homework makes up 40 percent of your overall course grade. Questions will require you to have previously read the chapter(s) assigned in order to comprehend and correctly respond to the questions. Grades on homework turned in after the assigned deadline date will be reduced by 10% per day that they are turned in late.

Forum/Discussion Board Participation

25 percent of your course grade is earned through participation with other students in the Discussion Board area of the classroom. Your knowledge of readings will be reflected in your ability to actively participate and discuss key course concepts. Post your responses as if you were participating in a face-to-face seminar. There is no harm in admitting that you didn’t know something and asking questions is highly encouraged. Replies to at least two other student’s posting is required to get full marks for each forum. This is done to make this a more informal and interactive classroom environment.

All assignments in this course are given to you prior to the due date. The “due date” for all assignments is the week in which the assignment is due. For the purposes of this course, a “week” is defined as the time period between Monday–Sunday. The first week begins on the first day of the semester and ends on midnight Eastern Time the following Sunday.

If you have questions during the course, don't hesitate to contact the instructor either by email or through the Sakai message system or both.

NameGrade %
Forums 27.00 %
Introduction 3.00 %
Forum Week 1 3.00 %
Forum Week 2 3.00 %
Forum Week 3 3.00 %
Forum Week 4 3.00 %
Forum Week 5 3.00 %
Forum Week 6 3.00 %
Forum Week 7 3.00 %
Forum Week 8 3.00 %
Homework 40.00 %
Homework #1 10.00 %
Homework #2 10.00 %
Homework #3 10.00 %
Homework #4 10.00 %
Midterm Exam 16.00 %
Midterm Exam 16.00 %
Final Exam 17.00 %
Final Exam 17.00 %

Software Requirements

  • Microsoft Word

A Note to Students using MS Office 2007:
To ensure that your assignments can be shared across platforms, please save your documents as a Word 97-2003 document (.doc).

Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Links provided inside the classroom in the Lessons section.
Author: No Author Specified

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.