Astrodynamics Mission Simulation – University of Leicester

Resource type: 
Blended learning
Topic: 
Orbits and Trajectories

The University of Leicester have run an Astrodynamics Mission Simulation 10-credit module over 8 weeks (2 full afternoon computer lab sessions per week) using NASA’s General Mission Analysis Tool (GMAT).

The module is taught using a Constructivism approach, in which students are found to be more likely to recall and understand concepts which they have discovered independently, than those taught directly. The 30-35 students are set problem questions over the 8-week period and are supported through these in the computer lab sessions by the lecturer and post-graduates. The module is concluded with a mission scenario given to teams of 4 or 5 where students build on the knowledge acquired in the taught elements and apply them to the design of a mission. E.g. plan a mission to Mars using the Phobos-rendezvous using minimum delta V