Studies in Space Exploration

AST80017 12.5 Credit Points Online


  • One Semester or equivalent

Contact hours

  • 150 contact hours - Online

On-campus unit delivery combines face-to-face and digital learning. For Online unit delivery, learning is conducted exclusively online.

2023 teaching periods


HOL Study Period 3

28 Aug 23 - 26 Nov 23

22 Dec 23

Last self enrolment:
10 Sep 23

18 Sep 23

Last withdraw without fail:
13 Oct 23

Aims and objectives

This unit aims to present the basic principles of space exploration, a brief history of manned and unmanned spacecraft, and the challenges facing current and future missions.
Unit Learning Outcomes (ULO)
Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:
1. Identify and describe the basic principles, issues and science goals in space exploration
2. Discuss and explain the history and development of space exploration, especially issues such as manned versus unmanned space exploration, spacecraft design, launch and navigation, imaging and remote sensing, and the biomechanics of space flight, in a non-technical way understandable to the wider public
3. Recognise how the social implications of space science and an analysis of the costs, risks & benefits of space exploration, including the ethical and legal implications of topics such as the use of radioisotope fuel sources, 'space junk' and mining rights in space
4. Use problem solving skills to explain solutions to problems in space exploration
5. Design and create a research project using credible sources of astronomical information and research articles and/or observational means