Master Program in Spacecraft Design

Luleå University of Technology

Program Description

Master Program in Spacecraft Design

Luleå University of Technology

Master Program in Spacecraft Design, 120.0 Credits

This two-year program is focused on one of the most exciting and prestigious areas there are: design of spacecraft. This includes integration of complex technical systems that must work in an extreme environment: space. The course is given in Kiruna, located well north of the arctic circle. This “space capital” of Sweden gives you close contact with organizations active in space engineering.

A spacecraft, which also is called a satellite if its orbit is bound to a celestial body, is designed around the payload instruments it shall carry and the environment it shall work in. During the first year of the course you acquire knowledge about the space environment,   which the spacecraft shall operate in, and also how it travels and orients itself in space. You learn about the various subsystems which make up the spacecraft and how it communicates with the surrounding world. Further, you get an understanding for the specific space electronics that are required and learn how the on-board computers work. You also get an insight into typical payloads that a satellite may carry.

The second year you are working with computer design of a spacecraft, fit to carry the instruments that are constructed by you and your colleagues. Here, a large part of the education and work is done in project form and as group work. Your master thesis work is performed at a space technology company, space organization, or academic department, in Kiruna or other part of the world.

A space research environment, unique for Europe, has been established in Kiruna. Here you find the Swedish Institute for Space Physics. The Institute builds satellite instruments for distant travel to other planets and celestial bodies. Sounding rockets and stratospheric balloons are launched from Esrange. Their missions may concern ozone research as well as studies of the origin of universe. The international radar organization EISCAT has also one of its receiving stations in Kiruna, where they perform studies of meteors and the northern lights.

The education is cooperating with these players and thus gives you the opportunity to evaluate satellite instruments with balloon flights to the stratosphere, shaking tests, and tests in a vacuum chamber.

The lectures are in English.

Labour market

There is a shortage of engineers within the space industry in the western hemisphere. Space activity is often to a high degree international. Some of the major European space players are ESA, EADS/Astrium, and RUAG Space. In Sweden a major player is SSC (former Swedish Space Corporation).

Entry requirements

Successful completion of a basic engineering program or a Bachelor´s degree with a minimum of 180 ECTS in the areas of space technology, aerospace, aeronautics, space physics, physics, electronics, mechatronics, mechanics, computer science or equivalent. Course work must include electronics and mechanics. Good knowledge in mathematics is required. Applicants must have documented skills in English corresponding to the level of English in Swedish upper secondary education (English B). Proven language proficiency in English, can for example be shown by an international English test as TOEFL or IELTS. Some specified university studies can also be equivalent.

Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
2 years
Full time
Request Info
Deadline for EU/EAA citizens 15 April 2013
Start date Sept. 2017
Sweden Kiruna
Application deadline Request Info
Deadline for EU/EAA citizens 15 April 2013
End date Request Info
Duration 2 years
Price - No tuitions for EU/EAA citizens