IntroSems quarters and schedules subject to change--check back often. Go to Re-Approaching Stanford for weekly updates on Academic Year 2020-21.
Introductory Seminars for First-Year Students
Space is dangerous. Anything we put into orbit has to survive the intense forces experienced during launch, extreme temperature changes, impacts by cosmic rays and energetic protons and electrons, as well as hits by human-made orbital debris and meteoroids. If we venture beyond Earth’s sphere of influence, we must also then endure the extreme plasma environment without the protection of our magnetic field. With all of these potential hazards, it is remarkable that our space program has experienced so few catastrophic failures. In this seminar, students will learn how engineers design and test spacecraft to ensure survivability in this harsh space environment. We will explore three different space environment scenarios, including a small satellite that must survive in low earth orbit (LEO); a large spacecraft headed to rendezvous with an asteroid; and a human spaceflight mission to Mars.