• Length:
    8 Weeks
  • Effort:
    3–4 hours per week
  • Price:

    Add a Verified Certificate for $49 USD

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  • Video Transcript:


Some lectures use high school level physics and basic calculus, but most of the course is accessible to the general public without specialized background.

About this course

Skip About this course

Spaceflight is exciting, and you don’t have to be a “Rocket Scientist” to share in the excitement! 16.00x makes the basics of spaceflight accessible to everyone. Join MIT Professor Jeffrey Hoffman, a former NASA astronaut who made five spaceflights and was the first astronaut to log 1000 hours on the Space Shuttle, as he teaches you the core principles behind space travel and exploration. The course will cover how rockets work, how spacecraft move in orbit, how we create artificial environments inside spacecraft to keep astronauts alive and healthy, what it’s like living in a world without gravity, how the human body adapts to space, and how spacewalks happen, plus more. Many lessons will be illustrated with Professor Hoffman’s own experiences in space.

Advanced Notice of a Future Spaceflight Course

Students who are interested in taking more online space-related courses should be aware that Professor Hoffman will be presenting a second online course in the fall of 2019 about “Systems Engineering and the Space Shuttle”. 16.00x is good preparation for this new course. Enrollment is now open 16.885x Engineering the Space Shuttle.

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • The basic principles of how rockets work (rocket science)
  • How spacecraft move in orbit (orbital mechanics)
  • What is required to keep astronauts alive and healthy in space (environmental control and life support)
  • Basic concepts of safety and risk management
  • The effects of weightlessness on the human body
  • How to carry out a spacewalk

Meet your instructors

Jeffrey Hoffman
Former NASA Astronaut, Professor

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