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SPST501 - Introduction to Space Studies

Course Details

Course Code: SPST501 Course ID: 3711 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This course serves as an introduction to the APUS Space Studies Master’s program. It describes on the main concentrations in Space Studies, as well as the writing proficiency expectation for graduate study. The course explores both current and future directions in NASA space exploration. It also introduces the new United States Space Force (USSF), and considers the implications of the USSF for the direction of our country’s space exploration policy.





Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
03/30/20 - 09/04/20 09/07/20 - 11/01/20 Summer 2020 Session D 8 Week session
04/27/20 - 10/02/20 10/05/20 - 11/29/20 Fall 2020 Session B 8 Week session
07/27/20 - 01/01/21 01/04/21 - 02/28/21 Winter 2021 Session B 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to

  • Analyze the key historical science discoveries that led up to the exploration of space;
  • Examine the history of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), including space projects/programs (both past and current);
  • Examine the purpose of various space laws and policies;
  • Apply the basics of rocket propulsion;
  • Illustrate the basic principles of orbital mechanics;
  • Justify the purpose and impact of various space programs;
  • Examine the basic psychological, physiological and social challenges facing human space travel; and -
  • Examine a variety of scientific concepts associated with satellite communications and remote sensing systems.

Please see the Student Handbook to reference the University’s grading scale.

Forum Postings

Eight times throughout this course discussion items will be posted within the Forum area of the classroom. Your responses must be between 100-300 words depending on the forum, be in YOUR OWN WORDS, well written and grammatically correct. Sources used must be cited at the end of your posting (not included in the word count). Your responses will clearly show whether you have completed assigned classroom readings. Opinions are always welcome… However, postings providing only opinions will be graded accordingly! Be sure to read the directions associated with each posting. Also, forums are about interaction so your initial response to the forum question is due by midnight Wed. to allow other students to read and comment on it. A late initial post costs 20 points for the first day late and 10 points each day thereafter. You are required to respond to at least two posts by other students. Failure to do so results in a deduction of 30 points per missing response.

Homework Assignments

There are eight homework assignments for this course, each covering various aspects of assigned course readings. Information on homework assignments will be posted within the Assignments area of the classroom, on the days listed in the Announcements (home) page.

Here are some common writing deductions to try and avoid in assignments. The first two assignments are more leniently graded to give students who have not written in a while a chance to improve to the course standard. These deductions will be assessed in addition to deductions made for inadequate content.

For assignments 1 and 2:

Not indenting paragraphs: warning

Not using gender neutral language: warning

Single sentence paragraphs: warning

Using clichés: warning

Overuse/Unnecessary Quotes: warning

Not double spacing text and references: -2 (only assessed once per paper)

Using contractions: -2 (only assessed once per paper)

Not writing in third person: -1 per infraction (limit 5)

Starting Sentence with “and” or “but”: -2 (only assessed once per paper)

Sentence fragments/sentence does not make sense: -2 per infraction

Misspelt words: -2 per word

Using Wikipedia or other similar sources as references: -2

No citations and/or references: assignment receives grade of 0 until returned properly cited and referenced, then -5

Using less than the required number of references: -5

For all other assignments

Not indenting paragraphs: -2 first paragraph, -1 all others

Not using gender neutral language: -2 first infractions, -1 each thereafter

Single sentence paragraph: -5

Using clichés: -2 per use

Overuse/Unnecessary Quotes: -2 per infraction

Not double spacing text and references: -4 (only assessed once per paper)

Using contractions: -2 first infraction, -1 each thereafter

Not writing in third person: -1 per infraction (limit 5)

Starting Sentence with “and” or “but”: -2 each infraction

Sentence fragments/sentence does not make sense: -5 per infraction

Misspelt words: -2 per word

Using Wikipedia or other similar sources as references: -10

No citations and/or references: assignment receives grade of 0 until returned properly cited and referenced, then -10

Using less than the required number of references: -10

NameGrade %
Forums 20.00 %
Forum 1 2.50 %
Forum 2 2.50 %
Forum 3 2.50 %
Forum 4 2.50 %
Forum 5 2.50 %
Forum 6 2.50 %
Forum 7 2.50 %
Forum 8 2.50 %
Paper Outlines 20.00 %
Space Policy Paper Outline 5.00 %
Astronomy Paper Outline 5.00 %
Aerospace Science Paper Outline 5.00 %
Space Entrepreneurship Paper Outline 5.00 %
Research Papers 60.00 %
Space Policy Research Paper 15.00 %
Astronomy Research Paper 15.00 %
Aerospace Science Research Paper 15.00 %
Space Entrepreneurship Paper 15.00 %

Other Resources:

The APUS Online Library

– An outstanding source for research information

The NASA homepage – http://www.nasa.gov

– Current and historical spaceflight information and an extensive gathering of open source literature

Book Title:Space 2.0 : How Private Spaceflight, a Resurgent NASA, and International Partners are Creating a New Space Age - e-book available in the APUS Online Library
ISBN:9781944648459
Publication Info:BenBella Books, Inc.
Author:Pyle, Rod; Aldrin, Buzz

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.