By Sumant Sharma November 11, 2016
SLAB and the students of the course AA 118N visited Planet in San Francisco on November 4. This trip was organized as part of Prof. D'Amico's course AA 118N (How to Design a Space Mission: from Concept to Execution). The purpose of the course is to engage first-quarter freshmen students at Stanford in the exciting possibilities of modern space exploration by exposing them to space mission design. The course focuses on systems engineering and how it is applied to accomplish some of the most ambitious engineering projects known to man, from human exploration of Mars, to the James Webb Space Telescope, and nanosatellites constellations for remote sensing. The teaching is based on Prof. D'Amico's own experience working on complex space missions such as GRACE, TanDEM-X, and PRISMA. As a key part of the course, the students gain first-hand knowledge of how systems engineering is applied to mission design through field trips to local Bay Area start-ups working on their own space missions.
At Planet, Prof. D'Amico also shared SLAB's vision for the future of spacecraft dynamics, guidance, navigation, and control, presenting recent lab results and how they might help Planet's own mission.