Orbital Mechanics and Launch Systems

Course #SS3500

Est.imated Completion Time: 3 months


Provides a fundamental understanding of Orbital Mechanics through study of conic sections, coordinate systems, coordinate transformations, and time. Calculation of orbital elements of the two-body problem is covered. Other Orbital Mechanics topics include: Newton's laws, Kepler's equation, orbital perturbations, and orbital maneuvering, including rendezvous and proximity operations. Launch systems topics include: the rocket equation, single and multi-stage rockets, launch windows, launch profiles, ascent and payload delivery performance, and mission design. Supporting lab work utilizes the Satellite Tool Kit (STK) as an orbit analysis tool. The use of Excel and / or MATLAB for solving problems is encouraged. Prerequisites: college level algebra, geometry, trigonometry, logarithms and physics.

Offerings database access
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Application Deadlines

  •  08 Jan 2024

    Spring Quarter applications due

  •  01 Apr 2024

    Summer Quarter applications due

  •  08 Jul 2024

    Fall Quarter applications due

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Academic Calendar

  •  12 Dec 2023 – 14 Dec 2023

    Fall Quarter final examinations

  •  15 Dec 2023

    Fall Quarter graduation

  •  18 Dec 2023 – 05 Jan 2024

    Winter break

See NPS Academic Calendar for more dates.