The learner will gain a fundamental understanding of the Suborbital Space Environment and how it can impact the performance and safety of a spacecraft and its crew. Key learning takeaways are an improved familiarity with the divisions of the atmosphere, defining the boundary to space, and understanding space weather.
About the course
This course provides an overview of the suborbital space environment. As pilots, crews, and passengers approach space or descend homeward they will be travelling through Earth’s atmosphere. To better understand this journey, each of the major thermal divisions of the atmosphere starting at sea level with the troposphere and ascending through the stratosphere and upwards to the exosphere and magnetosphere are described. Definitions of key altitude milestones, the Karman line, and suborbital spaceflight are provided. The course also discusses solar activity, geomagnetic conditions, ionospheric conditions, atomic oxygen, meteoroids and debris, and where to obtain space weather information services.