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Space Mission Design

Winter University Online: January 3rd - 28th, 2022

6 ECTS credit points, max. 24 participants

Registration Deadline: December 20th, 2021



Participants of this course will design a space mission in an interdisciplinary group. The group will choose their own mission idea to conduct a feasibility study. Each participant is responsible for one aspect of the mission but must work intensely with all other participants for it to be successful. The goal is to prepare and present a full scenario and spacecraft configuration of the space mission. The supervising space engineers guide the participants through the process. They introduce the fundamentals of space technologies in live lectures and train the participants in tools to make the necessary calculations, simulations and trade-offs.

Learning Goals and Syllabus


After completion of this course the participant shall be able to:

  • Recognize the need for different types of space missions
  • Describe the space environment
  • Apply the space mission design process to a use case
  • Describe the most common technologies used in spacecraft
  • Plan a space mission, including its mission scenario and spacecraft
  • Manage working in an interdisciplinary team


Course Structure:

Reading week: January 3rd - 7th, 2022. Flexible, 20 hours preparatory work to be done on-demand.

Online course: January 10th - 28th, 2022. Estimated session times are Mondays to Fridays from 9 am to 2 pm CET for live lectures and group sessions, etc.

Please note that exact session times will be confirmed once registrations have closed (sessions will be scheduled according to the time zones of the registered course participants).

Should you have any questions regarding the course timetable, please contact us at

Please note this is a full-time, intensive course and participants will be expected to attend lectures and/or complete independent study Monday through Friday. Additional study may also be required on weekends.



A detailed syllabus with information on the schedule will be made available to registered participants.

You may find the syllabus useful when discussing with your home university whether the ECTS credits attainable for this course are accepted by them.


Course components

The course starts with live lectures about topics that are relevant to understanding the basics of space engineering. The knowledge and skills gained form the basis for designing the space mission. The live lectures cover the following topics:

  • Utilization of space (i.a. the need for spacecraft, common space missions, the space environment)
  • Space mission planning (i.a. managing a space project, space mission design process, space standardization, verification and testing)
  • Space technologies (Spacecraft subsystems, space systems engineering)

The course offers interactive exercises on basic tools that are needed to design the space mission. Those exercises include for example orbit planning, budgeting of spacecraft mass and power, budgeting of mission costs, scheduling and thermal simulation.

The remaining part of the presence time is dedicated to designing the space mission. The participants regularly share their updates with the team and answer to the supervisor’s questions. The supervisor meets with the participants individually to guide them through their tasks.

The participants use the time between classes to work on their space mission. The course concludes with a final review in which the participants present their planned space mission.

Target Audience

This course is designed for current university students, working professionals and any individuals with an interest in gaining insights into planning a space mission and working on different aspects of a space mission design project in an interdisciplinary team.

Prerequisites and Technical Requirements

Participants of the TU Berlin Summer & Winter University must meet the following requirements: (i) B2 level English, or equivalent and (ii) at least one year of university experience.

Technical Requirements

We will ask participants to fulfill the following technical requirements:

  • Fully functional device (laptop, tablet, PC)
  • Stable internet connection
  • Software: Zoom (App installed on desktop or over browser. Participants are requested to use their real name as zoom account name)
  • Recommended: external headset for better sound quality


Cem Avsar studied Aerospace Engineering at the TU Berlin and has taught numerous space technology related courses, e.g. Satellite Technology, Aerospace Electronics, Aerospace System Design, Space Robotics. He is Managing Director of the Berlin-based space company beSpace.

Manuel Ortega Varela de Seijas graduated in Aerospace engineering from TU Delft and in Space Engineering from TU Berlin. He has worked on space systems engineering and project management for the Paris Observatory Meteorix mission, ESA’s OPS-SAT mission and Berlin Space Technologies GmbH. His current research is focused on additive manufacturing for space and he lectures several courses within the Master of Space Engineering (MSE) study program, at the TU Berlin.

Course fees

Course fees for Space Mission Design are as follows:

*Please register here*

Student: 980 Euro

Working professional/Non-student: 1460 Euro

The early bird discount is available for all participants until November 1st, 2021.

Please note that students will be required to upload proof of their student status (student card/ enrolment information) during the registration process.

Winter University Online: January 3rd - 28th, 2022

6 ECTS credit points


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