Free Online Course on Kinematics: Describing the Motions of Spacecraft

Free Online Course on Kinematics Describing the Motions of Spacecraft
Certificate fee scholarship is available for this course.

Institution:  University of Colorado Boulder
Start Date: June 25, 2018

Step into the fascinating world of Kinematics with this free online course entitled “Kinematics: Describing the Motions of Spacecraft” created by the University of Colorado Boulder. Kinematics is a field that develops descriptions and predictions of the motion of these bodies in 3D space.

This course in Kinematics covers four major topic areas: an introduction to particle kinematics, a deep dive into rigid body kinematics in two parts. Applicants can start the course by June 25, 2018.

Course Summary

  • Duration: 4 weeks
  • Commitment: 3 and 6 hours of work per week
  • Subject: Physics and Astronomy
  • Institution: University of Colorado Boulder
  • Languages: English
  • Price: Free
  • Session: Starts on June 25, 2018
  • Requirement:  None
  • Certificate Available: Yes

Who Developed the Course

The University of Colorado Boulder is a public research university located in Boulder, Colorado, United States. The university comprised nine colleges and schools and offered over 150 academic programs and enrolled almost 17,000 students

Target Audience

  • This class is for working engineering professionals looking to add to their skill sets, graduate students in engineering looking to fill gaps in their knowledge base, and enterprising engineering undergraduates looking to expand their horizons.

Where Could This Lead You

After completing this course, you can apply for jobs in the given fields:

  • Engineering professionals
  • Engineers

Get Extra Benefits

If you pay $79 USD for this course,

  • You will have access to all of the features and content you need to earn a Course Certificate.
  • If you complete the course successfully, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page – from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile.
  • Note that the Course Certificate does not represent official academic credit from the partner institution offering the course.

How to Join This Course

You can register yourself here.

Course Format

  •  WEEK 1: Introduction to Kinematics
    This module covers particle kinematics. A special emphasis is placed on a frame-independent vectorial notation. The position velocity and acceleration of particles are derived using rotating frames utilizing the transport theorem.
  • WEEK 2: Rigid Body Kinematics I
    This module provides an overview of orientation descriptions of rigid bodies. The 3D heading is here described using either the direction cosine matrix (DCM) or the Euler angle sets.
  • WEEK 3: Rigid Body Kinematics II
    This module covers modern attitude coordinate sets including Euler Parameters (quaternions), principal rotation parameters, Classical Rodrigues parameters, modified Rodrigues parameters, as well as stereographic orientation parameters.
  • WEEK 4: Static Attitude Determination
    This module covers how to take an instantaneous set of observations (sun heading, magnetic field direction, star direction, etc.) and compute a corresponding 3D attitude measure.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, you’ll be able to:

  • Differentiate a vector as seen by another rotating frame and derive frame dependent velocity and acceleration vectors.
  • Apply the Transport Theorem to solve kinematic particle problems and translate between various sets of attitude descriptions.
  • Add and subtract relative attitude descriptions and integrate those descriptions numerically to predict orientations over time.
  • Derive the fundamental attitude coordinate properties of rigid bodies and determine attitude from a series of heading measurements.

Who Will You Learn With?

  • Hanspeter Schaub- Alfred T. and Betty E. Look Professor in Aerospace Engineering Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder


  • Importance of Course: The course ends with a look at static attitude determination, using modern algorithms to predict and execute relative orientations of bodies in space.
  • Importance of Certificate: By the Certificate of Achievement you will be able to prove your success when applying for jobs or courses. You can display it on your LinkedIn or CV.

Detailed Information

For more information about the course, you may visit the Website.

Apply Now


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