Studies in Space Exploration - 2017

To enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into a course from the provider. Read before you start

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Postgraduate
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: SP1
  • Assessment: Assignment - Newsgroups (30%) , Project (50%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 2,440.00
Domestic continuing 2,084.00
International 2,690.00
International continuing 2,334.00

2017 Swinburne tuition fees are reduced for continuing postgraduate students.
Please login in to view the applicable amount.

This unit presents the basic principles, issues and scientific goals in space exploration, and traces its history and development with particular reference to manned versus unmanned space exploration, spacecraft design, launch and navigation, imaging and remote sensing. Public perception of space science and analysis of the costs, risks and benefits of space exploration are discussed with special reference to ethical and legal implications of topics, such as the use of radioisotope fuel sources, 'space junk' and mining rights in space.

At the completion of this unit students 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.
  • Assignment — Newsgroups (30%)
  • Project (50%)
  • Test — Online tests (20%)

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • HET610 — Studies in Space Exploration

Recommended prerequisites

You are recommended to have completed the following unit(s) or have equivalent knowledge before starting this unit:

  • Broadband access

In order to enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into one of the following courses:

Please visit the course details page and read the Requirements tab for more information about eligibility.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Ground-based space exploration: telescopes, detectors, limitations of ground-based observations
2Unmanned space exploration: orbiting observatories, planetary missions, observing asteroids, comets, the sun, the heliopause and beyond
3People in space: manned versus robotic missions, space stations, colonisation and terraforming
4Evolution of human space flight: from fireworks to the V-2 rocket, Sputnik to Gargarin, to the Moon or bust, from Skylab to the Space Station.....
5Spacecraft design, launch and navigation: a probe for every purpose, lift-off and boosters, docking and course correction, navigating in space.....
6Imaging and remote sensing: instrumentation, telemetry, communication, space observatories, data processing and manipulation
7Fuelling interplanetary missions: energy sources and techniques used in past, present and planned space missions, designs and intended uses.....
8Costs, risks and benefits: scientific, legal and ethical dimensions: the science goals, public perception, legal implications and ethical consid'ns..

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Embedded Multimedia
  • Online Quizzes/Tests
  • Online assignment submission
  • Standard Media
  • Web links

This unit is an approved elective in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbook information for this unit is currently being updated and will be available soon. Please check back regularly for updates. Alternatively, visit the The Co-op website and enter the unit details to search for available textbooks.

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