Astronautics is quite different from aeronautics because each space mission is uniquely designed to perform a specific task related to its operational or scientific objectives. This requires an โ€œend-to-endโ€ approach where the objectives drive the design of the mission and data processing is an integral part of the mission. Within the Space track, you are offered opportunities to participate in ongoing engineering and scientific projects. You will develop skills to carry out an engineering or research project independently and individually. This will be achieved by a highly focused MSc thesis project under supervision of a staff member. In addition, you will acquire broad knowledge in the field of space and its applications. These objectives will make you a well-rounded aerospace engineer with generally applicable engineering and research skills and with a clear focus area. 

The track consists of three profiles: Space Engineering, Spaceflight Dynamics and Planetary Exploration. Each profile has a different focus, but they are also interrelated. On the one hand you will become an all-round space professional, but on the other hand you will acquire generic skills that enable you to pursue a career in a broad spectrum of industrial and research environments. 

Student profile

The spaceflight student is interested in learning and understanding the basics of aerospace engineering and applying this to real space missions and problems, by continuing their studies either in spacecraft dynamics (with a focus on orbital mechanics), planetary exploration (with a focus on planetary sciences) or in space engineering (with a focus on space systems engineering including spacecraft and/or instrument design and development). 

The students should have a good understanding and mastery of the basics of physics and mathematics, preferably with a focus on spaceflight already, and good intellectual, analytical, communicative and collaborative skills. 

The student is curious into new developments in society in general and spaceflight in particular, and is interested in overcoming challenges in spaceflight by implementing new technologies. 

Core courses

The Core courses for students of the Space track are listed below. Please note that profile courses are in both the 1st and 2nd period.

Name Period # EC
Fundamentals of Astrodynamics  1 4
Planetary Sciences I 1 4
Space Systems Engineering  1&2 4
Space Instrumentation 1&2 4


Thesis topics

More information