The Master of Science (M.S.) Degree is an interdisciplinary program providing opportunities for those interested in advancing the development of Human Space Exploration and Space Settlements. The M.S. Program features coursework, research training, and collaborations with faculty in a research-led culture emphasizing rigor, creativity, and innovation. Students will join industry leaders to help guide the sustainable development of Space, and with the support of commercial and international partners will conduct impactful research in space-related fields to enable human expansion from Earth to Space.

PROGRAM OPTIONS

MASTER OF SCIENCE DEGREE (M.S. COURSE-BASED)

Complete a total of 36 credit hours, with all 21 credit hours comprised of Core Courses, and 15 additional credit hours from the Technical Specialization Tracks. The program is designed for professionals who have been with government, industry, or private practice and who wish to return for upgrading and specialization.

MASTER OF SCIENCE DEGREE (M.S. PROJECT-BASED)

Complete a total of 36 credit hours, with all 21 credit hours comprised of Core Courses, and 15 additional credit hours from Technical Specialization Tracks, including the completion of a project under the supervision of a faculty member. Students will select a research topic, perform experiments, computation, or analysis relevant to the topic, and report their results. The project-based degree is designed to train academics in planning, conducting, evaluating and reporting leading original research with a high degree of competence and integrity.

MASTER OF SCIENCE DEGREE (M.S. THESIS-BASED)

Complete a total of 36 credit hours, with all 21 credit hours of comprised Core Courses and 15 additional credit hours from the Technical Specialization Tracks, including the completion of a thesis under the supervision of a faculty member. Students will select a research topic, perform experiments, computation, or analysis relevant to the topic, and report their results. The thesis-based degree is designed to train academics in planning, conducting, evaluating and reporting leading original research with a high degree of competence and integrity.

Master of Science TECHNICAL SPECIALIZATIONS

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Space Studies

Explore the challenges of human space exploration beyond Low Earth Orbit.

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Space Agriculture

Agricultural systems for sustainable production for communities.

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Space Architecture

Designing and building inhabited environments in outer space.

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Space Health

Keeping communities healthy while living and working in space.

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Space Resources

Management and responsible use of available resources in the Solar System.

MASTER OF SCIENCE DEGREE – COURSE INFORMATION

Core Courses for Human Expansion FROM EARTH TO SPACE

This course acquaints students to the ethical and philosophical issues raised by involving humans in research. Topics covered in include ethical theory and principles, informed consent for research participation, just selection of research subjects, functions of review boards and ethical aspects of study design, privacy and confidentiality. Students will be able to analyze research protocols and develop ability to engage in critical and self-reflective discussion of theoretical and practical problems in research ethics and the various solutions proposed.

Presentations and discussions of research and developing technologies in current topics in the space settlement sciences by faculty members, guest experts, and students.

This course surveys the impact of human factors on crewed missions, challenges of continuous operational support for long-duration spaceflight, and approaches for analysis and interpretation of human factors data. Students will assess the participation of humans in space exploration and the abilities to perform physically and psychologically for extended periods in harsh environments, with unique gravitation and radiation characteristics. Human factors and human performance issues in general applications will be explored, topics may include: cognitive engineering and human-centered design principles applicable to life-critical systems, addressing human-centered automation, human workload, cognitive modeling, situational awareness, risk taking and applied user experience design and evaluation.

This course introduces students to the fundamental principles of systems engineering and their particular application to the development of space systems to sustains humans living and working in space. Student will be introduced to the key elements comprising space systems across the mission design life cycle, from launch to in-space operations. Topics may include: fundamentals on astrodynamics, requirements analysis, trade studies, concept definition, interface definition, system synthesis, and engineering design, power systems, communications, command and data handling, thermal management, attitude control, mechanical configuration, structures, as well as techniques and analysis methods for remote sensing applications, risk assessment and mitigation planning. Students will be asked to explore, in depth, various advanced areas of space systems engineering challenges and share information with each other in online discussions.

Through individual and/or group research projects, with guidance from faculty advisor(s), students will have an opportunity to advance original research work and developing technologies in special studies in space architecture. This course emphasizes investigating new territories of inquiry, including contributions to the knowledgebase of their chosen discipline, as well as development of an overall research framework to define aspects of that discipline related to space applications. Research programs should focus on theoretical and experimental positions drawn from the respective areas to enable contributions towards human space settlement. Skills development integrated throughout the course elements will emphasize writing, teamwork, the collaborative nature of the field, engineering tools used in space systems engineering, and data management and analysis.

Through individual and/or group research projects, with guidance from faculty advisor(s), students will have an opportunity to advance original research work and developing technologies in special studies in space philosophy. This course emphasizes investigating new territories of inquiry, including contributions to the knowledgebase of their chosen discipline, as well as development of an overall research framework to define aspects of that discipline related to space applications. Research programs should focus on theoretical and experimental positions drawn from the respective areas to enable contributions towards human space settlement. Skills development integrated throughout the course elements will emphasize writing, teamwork, the collaborative nature of the field, engineering tools used in space systems engineering, and data management and analysis.

Through individual and/or group research projects, with guidance from faculty advisor(s), students will have an opportunity to advance original research work and developing technologies in special studies in space law, policy and governance. This course emphasizes investigating new territories of inquiry, including contributions to the knowledgebase of their chosen discipline, as well as development of an overall research framework to define aspects of that discipline related to space applications. Research programs should focus on theoretical and experimental positions drawn from the respective areas to enable contributions towards human space settlement. Skills development integrated throughout the course elements will emphasize writing, teamwork, the collaborative nature of the field, engineering tools used in space systems engineering, and data management and analysis.

Various topics in Human Space Settlement are considered. They will vary depending upon recent developments in the field and upon the interests of the instructor. The topics to be included are announced at the time of the course offering.