Basics of Space Flight
Skip Navigation

  2015 EDITION

  Editorial Page      



1 The Solar System
2 Reference Systems
3 Gravity & Mechanics
4 Trajectories
5 Planetary Orbits
6 Electromagnetics


7 Mission Inception
8 Experiments
9 S/C Classification
10 Telecom
11 Onboard Systems
12 Science Instruments
13 Navigation


14 Launch
15 Cruise
16 Encounter
17 Extended Ops
18 Deep Space Network

Download PDF     


splash image                        

      The people of Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory create, manage, and operate NASA projects of exploration throughout our solar system and beyond.

Basics of Space Flight is a tutorial designed primarily to help operations people identify the range of concepts associated with deep space missions, and grasp the relationships among them. It also enjoys popularity with college and high-school students and faculty, and people everywhere who are interested in interplanetary space flight.

This website attempts to offer a broad scope, but limited depth, as a robust framework to accommodate further training or investigation. Many other resources are available for delving into each of the topics related here; indeed, any one of them can involve a lifelong career of specialization. This module's purpose is met if the participant learns the scope of concepts that apply to interplanetary space exploration, and how the relationships among all of them work.

Basics of Space Flight is intended to be used online via the worldwide web ( Links to external sites provide further depth to many topics. There are interactive quizzes to let you check your own progress. No records are kept, nor does Caltech offer academic credit for this training.

     Interplanetary exploration begins . . .

NEXT PAGE next page
Skip Navigation