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Astrodynamics

Exploring Space & Developing Launch Vehicles

In this lab, students are introduced to spacecraft, launch vehicles, and orbits. They will use simulations to test and explore physics and vehicle design. They will also analyze the design of rockets through testing and iterating a balloon rocket.

Students will:
  • Analyze real-world problems and use critical thinking skills in order to solve them
  • Collect and analyze data
  • Explain the engineering process as it pertains to their design
  • Understand space mission phases
  • Describe the forces on a balloon rocket
  • Analyze rocket performance through data collection and simulation
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    Lab intro video

    28 minutes

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    Lab type

    Lab kit provided at no cost

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    Live Q&A session and wrap up with

    College Students & Professional Engineers

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Electric Vehicles

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April 22, 2024
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Classroom Tools & Resources

Get access to all of the presentation materials, workbooks and resources to run the Astrodynamics lab in your classroom.

Meet the lab intro host

Milton Davis
Curriculum Coordinator

Milton started at Goddard Space Flight Center as a Pathways Student in 2000 working with the Navigation & Mission Design (595) and Components and Hardware Systems (596) branches. As a co-op intern, Milton received a co-patent for his work on a demise-able momentum exchange system (reaction wheel) which has flown on the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) missions. 

In his professional career, he has served in multiple roles in 500 including: avionics deputy lead for the Magnetospheric Multi-Scale (MMS) mission; the mechanical lead of the Navigator GPS receiver on MMS and STP-H6; and, the mechanical lead for the Payload Control Computer on OSAM-1 (formerly Restore-L). 

Milton has co-patents for the SpaceCube 2 and SpaceCube 3 Reconfigurable Data Processing System. He has also served as a star tracker and inertial measurement unit lead on MMS, NICER, GEDI and PACE, and served as a co-lead, subject matter expert, and study lead of the Avionics Packaging Committee for the NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC). 

Milton served as an associate branch head of the GNC hardware branch from 2014 to 2018 focusing on new business, new technology, and re-chartering branch career paths. He transitioned to OSAM-1 in 2019 to serve as the Space Infrastructure Dexterous Robotics (SPIDER) Payload Systems and Phase lead, and in 2020 he started serving as the OSAM-1 Space Vehicle lead. 

Milton serves as the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Greenbelt Space Chapter (GSC) President. He holds a BS in Aerospace Engineering from Purdue University, a Masters in Project Management from Johns Hopkins University, and is completing a Masters in Robotics from Johns Hopkins University.

Milton Davis

Curriculum Coordinator

Milton started at Goddard Space Flight Center as a Pathways Student in 2000 working with the Navigation & Mission Design (595) and Components and Hardware Systems (596) branches. As a co-op intern, Milton received a co-patent for his work on a demise-able momentum exchange system (reaction wheel) which has flown on the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) missions. 

In his professional career, he has served in multiple roles in 500 including: avionics deputy lead for the Magnetospheric Multi-Scale (MMS) mission; the mechanical lead of the Navigator GPS receiver on MMS and STP-H6; and, the mechanical lead for the Payload Control Computer on OSAM-1 (formerly Restore-L). 

Milton has co-patents for the SpaceCube 2 and SpaceCube 3 Reconfigurable Data Processing System. He has also served as a star tracker and inertial measurement unit lead on MMS, NICER, GEDI and PACE, and served as a co-lead, subject matter expert, and study lead of the Avionics Packaging Committee for the NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC). 

Milton served as an associate branch head of the GNC hardware branch from 2014 to 2018 focusing on new business, new technology, and re-chartering branch career paths. He transitioned to OSAM-1 in 2019 to serve as the Space Infrastructure Dexterous Robotics (SPIDER) Payload Systems and Phase lead, and in 2020 he started serving as the OSAM-1 Space Vehicle lead. 

Milton serves as the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Greenbelt Space Chapter (GSC) President. He holds a BS in Aerospace Engineering from Purdue University, a Masters in Project Management from Johns Hopkins University, and is completing a Masters in Robotics from Johns Hopkins University.

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