Space exploration plays a major role in the history of humankind. The cultural, political and sociological repercussions are extraordinary, and the amount of resources dedicated to space exploration is enormous. This aerospace course is a first step for those interested in learning more about the history of the space and the impact of space exploration on our daily lives.
Each week we will focus on a major chapter in the history of space exploration accompanied by an introduction to the relevant technical topics to fully understand these historical developments. During the seven weeks of the course, we will follow the technical, political and cultural contexts that lead to the birth of the space age, uncover the evolution of space exploration from competition to cooperation in the Apollo and post-Apollo era and finally, analyze current trends in space exploration.
By successfully completing this course, you will acquire the critical tools to understand the key events and developments of the Space Age. You will learn to solve basic technical and engineering problems of space travel, rocket propulsion, space systems, and human space flight.
Course image: Rosetta at Comet (landscape) / Copyright: ESA/ATG medialab; Comet image: ESA/Rosetta/Navcam.
- The history of space exploration and its cultural, political, and scientific impact
- Fundamentals of aerospace engineering, including how to move in space and how rockets work
- The key aspects of space systems and the space environment
- Current trends and future projects in space exploration
Dr. Manuel Sanjurjo Rivo is an assistant professor at the Aerospace Department of UC3M. His research interests range from celestial mechanics to space tether dynamics or trajectory optimization. He teaches several grade and master courses in flight dynamics and astrodynamics.
In particular, he has been teaching the classroom version of “The Conquest of Space” for three years. In this course, he presents the historical context of the birth and development of spaceflight and guides through the political, social, and cultural impact of space exploration in the society.
Mario Merino is a PhD Aerospace Engineer and an assistant professor at the Aerospace Department of UC3M, where he and his team research such exciting topics as electric space propulsion and next-generation plasma thrusters. Mario's work has received the nationalOutstanding PhD Thesis award,' the EuropeanPegasus-AIAA' prize, and the European`Young Aerospace Engineer' award. He has participated in several ESA and European projects on space electric propulsion, and carried out two research visits at Stuttgart University (Germany) and UCLA (CA, US).
He teaches several bachelor and master level courses on space system design, rocket engines, astrodynamics, and advanced aerospace propulsion.
In`The Conquest of Space,' Mario will be your guide through the technical part of the course, and together you will discover how things work and behave in space.
Manuel Soler has a PhD in Aerospace Engineering. He is currently Assistant Professor at UC3M, Department of Bioeng. and Aerospace Engineering, where he leads the Air Navigation and Control research line and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in air navigation, flight mechanics and control, and air transport. He has been a visiting scholar at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, and UC Berkeley, USA.
He has participated in several research projects, e.g., POTRA (Clean-SKY), SESEAR WP-E HALA! PhD project [PI], and OPTMET [PI]; and consultancy projects with Boeing [PI] and Innaxis [PI], and published his work in international journal and conference proceedings, including two books. Dr. Soler was recognized with the SESAR Young Scientist Award 2013. He is member of the HALA! network scientific committee. He is currently supervising three PhD students.
Gonzalo Sánchez Arriaga, Aerospace Engineer and Astrophysicist, has a PhD in Aerospace Engineering (Outstanding Thesis Award). He is currently Assistant Professor at UC3M, Department of Bioeng. and Aerospace Engineering. He has taught courses on General Physics, Analytical Mechanics and Flight Mechanics. His research interests include plasma physics, space electrodynamic tethers and wind energy generation using power kites.
He has participated in several national and European projects and published more than 25 articles in ISI Journals. Some of these works were carried out throughout pre-doctoral stays in Kyushu University (Japan) and Nice Observatory (France) and a two-year postdoctoral contract at CEA (France). His is author of two registered codes and has been co-advisor of two PhD theses.
Filippo Cichocki is a PhD student at the Aerospace Department of UC3M. He graduated in aerospace engineering (bachelor) and space engineering (master of science) at the University of Rome, Italy, respectively in 2006 and 2009. His PhD thesis topic is the study of the plasma plume expansion from an electric thruster into vacuum and he has also been involved in the teaching of several laboratory lectures of the UC3M master courses “Astrodynamics and Atmospheric Flight” and “Space Systems Design.”
Before joining UC3M, he worked for Elecnor Deimos-Space from 2009 to 2013 as a junior project engineer in the field of mission analysis and navigation. As such, he participated in several european space projects, such as Exomars, RAAS (Robust and Autonomous Aerobraking Strategies), MARCOPOLO-R and NEOSHIELD.
Daniel Pérez graduated in Aerospace Engineering with a specialty in Propulsion Systems at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid in early 2010; he completed his Master´s Thesis at TU Delft working on characterization of Cold Gas Thrusters for Nano-Satellites. He went on to work at various renowned companies such as MOOG, Airbus Military and Rolls-Royce; carrying out different roles in projects such as ESA´s ATV, the Airbus A-400M and leading the Emerging Technologies department at Rolls-Royce. He is currently a PhD student on “Plasma Physics” at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid; his research area is Magnetic Topologies in Hall Effect Thrusters and other Electric Space Propulsion Systems.
As a Propulsion Specialist, he will be developing content for the course in relation to propulsion topics; also, as a long time science-fiction fan, he will bring additional content and discussions on the science and feasibility behind some of the more extravagant concepts proposed in the conquest of Space!