SMS — Space Mission Structures:
From Concept to Launch

Instar Engineering Short Course

Course Overview

This course presents the structure for a space or launch vehicle as a system. Originally based on the instructor's book, Spacecraft Structures and Mechanisms: From Concept to Launch, this course has evolved and been improved continuously since 1995.

If you are an engineer involved in any aspect of spacecraft or launch–vehicle structures, regardless of your level of experience, you will benefit from this course. Subjects include functions, requirements development, environments, structural mechanics, loads analysis, stress analysis, fracture mechanics, finite–element modeling, configuration, producibility, verification planning, quality assurance, testing, and risk assessment. The objectives are to give the big picture of space-mission structures and improve your understanding of:

  • Structural functions, requirements, and environments
  • How structures behave and how they fail
  • How to develop structures that are cost–effective and dependable for space missions

Despite its breadth, the course goes into great depth in key areas, with emphasis on the things that are commonly misunderstood and the types of things that go wrong in the development of flight hardware. The instructor shares numerous case histories and experiences to drive the main points home. Calculators are required to work class problems.

Each participant will receive a copy of the instructors' 850-page reference book, Spacecraft Structures and Mechanisms: From Concept to Launch.

Target Audience

Structural design engineers, stress and dynamics analysts, systems engineers, and others interested in the topic

Course Developer and Instructor

Tom Sarafin

Course Length

Three full days