Skip to main content

Astronautics

in this section

M_Eng_Astronautics Focus
Master of Engineering Program in Astronautical Engineering
Master of Engineering Program - Astronautics Focus

Exploring space, the prospect of traveling beyond the confines of Earth, inspires many engineers like no other endeavor. This degree will appeal most to those with a passion for spacecraft. Along with the early contributions of Newton, Kepler, Euler, and Hamilton, the past century of practical, predictive, and speculative work in space travel constitutes a body of work that can guide us toward new discoveries. Cornell researchers in astronautics are combining the subtle dynamics of spaceflight with new strategies for control and estimation to create innovative architectures, systems, and algorithms for next-generation spacecraft. They receive funding from NASA, the U.S. Air Force, Naval Research Labs, and DARPA, and collaborate with industry and government co-investigators.

The astronautics-focused M. Eng. Degree is all about how to build spacecraft--and why. It is designed to extend an undergraduate aerospace or mechanical engineering degree to allow students to focus on conceiving, designing, implementing, and operating satellites, rockets, and other space systems. Research groups in this area are addressing high-precision GPS applications, formation flight, spaceborne robots, celestial mechanics, space propulsion, space-system architecture, adaptive control, and in-orbit inspection and repair. M.Eng students at Cornell have participated in the design and construction of four spacecraft (the ICE Cubesat, two CUSat inspection satellites, and the Violet satellite) and the development of high-agility spaceborne robotic arms. Programs like these and others are available for M.Eng. research projects.

Students in the Master of Engineering program with Astronautics focus can choose a course schedule that best fits their particular interests; they are not restricted to the following examples. The course sequences listed below suggest the breadth and depth of degree plans that are possible at Cornell, although in a given year more or fewer courses may be offered.

Example Course Sequences - Astronautical Engineering Focus

Attitude Dynamics and Control Specialization

Fall Term Spring Term
MAE 5735 Intermediate Dynamics & Vibrations
3 MAE 6720 Celestial Mechanics 3
MAE 5210 Theory of Linear Systems 3 MAE 6780
Multivariable Control Theory
3
MAE 5780 Feedback Control Systems 3 MAE 6060 Spacecraft Attitude Dynamics & Mission Design 3
MAE 5150 GPS: Theory and Design 4 MAE 6900 M.Eng Project
3
MAE 6900 M.Eng Project 3      

Total Credits: 16
Total Credits: 12

Space Exploration Specialization

Fall Term Spring Term
MAE 5735 Intermediate Dynamics & Vibrations
3 MAE 6720 Celestial Mechanics 3
ASTRO 6767 Seminar: Planetary Science 3 ASTRO 6577 Planetary Surface Processes 3
ASTRO 6570 Physics of the Planets 4 MAE 6060 Spacecraft Attitude Dynamics & Mission Design 3
ECE 5470 Computer Vision 4 ECE 4870 Intro to Radar Remote Sensing 3
MAE 6900 M.Eng Project 3 MAE 6900 M.Eng Project 3

Total Credits: 17
Total Credits: 15

Space Robotics Specialization

Fall Term Spring Term
MAE 5735 Intermediate Dynamics & Vibrations
3 MAE 6720 Celestial Mechanics 3
MAE 3780 Mechatronics 4 MAE 5180 Autonomous Mobile Robots
3
MAE 5780 Feedback Control Systems 3 MAE 6060 Spacecraft Attitude Dynamics & Mission Design 3
MAE 5150 GPS: Theory and Design 4 MAE 6900
M.Eng Project
3
MAE 6900 M.Eng Project 3      

Total Credits: 17
Total Credits: 12

Space Structures Specialization

Fall Term Spring Term
MAE 5735 Intermediate Dynamics & Vibrations
3 MAE 6720 Celestial Mechanics 3
MAE 4140 Mechanics of Lightweight Vehicles 3 MAE 6550
Composite Materials
4
MAE 5780 Feedback Control Systems 3 MAE 6060 Spacecraft Attitude Dynamics & Mission Design 3
MAE 5200 Dimensional Tolerancing in Design 2 MAE 6900 M.Eng Project
4
MAE 5700 Finite Element Analysis 3      

Total Credits: 14
Total Credits: 13

Advanced Space Technology Specialization

Fall Term Spring Term
MAE 5730
Intermediate Dynamics 3 MAE 6720 Celestial Mechanics 3
MAE 5910 Applied Systems Engineering 3 MAE 4590 Introduction to Controlled Fusion 3
MAE 3780 Mechatronics 4 MAE 6060 Spacecraft Attitude Dynamics & Mission Design 3
MAE 5150 GPS: Theory and Design 4 MAE 5180 Autonomous Mobile Robots 3
MAE 4320 MicroElectro Mechanical Systems 3 MAE 6900 M.Eng Project 4
Total Credits: 17 Total Credits: 15

Military Space Specialization

Fall Term Spring Term
MAE 5735 Intermediate Dynamics & Vibrations
3 MAE 6720 Celestial Mechanics 3
MAE 4570 Space Systems & National Security 3 MAE 5920 System Architecture & Optimization 3
MAE 5910 Applied Systems Engineering 3 MAE 6060 Spacecraft Attitude Dynamics & Mission Design 3
MAE 5150 GPS: Theory and Design 4 ECE 4870 Intro to Radar Remote Sensing 3
MAE 6900 M.Eng Project 3 MAE 6900 M.Eng Project 3

Total Credits: 16
Total Credits: 15

Space Entrepreneurship Specialization

Fall Term Spring Term
MAE 5735 Intermediate Dynamics & Vibrations
3 MAE 6720 Celestial Mechanics 3
MAE 4570 Space Systems & National Security 3 CEE 5900 Project Management 4
NBA 5070
Entrepreneurship for Engineers & Scientists
3 MAE 6060 Spacecraft Attitude Dynamics & Mission Design 3
MAE 5910 Applied Systems Engineering 3 MAE 5920 Optimization 3
MAE 6900 M.Eng Project 3 MAE 6900 M.Eng Project 3

Total Credits: 15
Total Credits: 16