Mar 04, 2021
College of the Ozarks engineering students learn from space professional in Space Systems Engineering course
POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — A new course, Space Systems Engineering, was offered at College of the Ozarks as an elective during the 2020 fall semester.
Brian Crouse, adjunct professor at College of the Ozarks, taught Space Systems Engineering during the 2020 fall semester. Crouse, a local mechanical and astronautical engineer, is a major in the U.S. Air Force Reserves and has taught at the U.S. Air Force Academy while on active duty.
The space systems course was developed by NASA and pioneered at the University of Texas in 2008. It follows NASA's systematic method of designing and engineering complex and expansive space systems. Crouse mixed in his knowledge in satellite subsystem engineering, but generally taught broad coverage of a very deep field.
During his 10 years on active duty, Crouse spent time at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, Vandenberg Air Force Base in California launching rockets, and at the Air Force Academy teaching astronautical engineering. He is also a reserve officer who teaches space lessons to active duty members of the Air and Space Forces at the Peterson-Schriever Garrison in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
"Our class had the privilege of talking about all space-related matters," said Justus Knox, senior engineering major. "We learned about orbital mechanics, NASA's plan to land on the moon in 2024, and even how astronauts at the International Space Station used tea leaves and cameras to find an oxygen leak. We also had in-class discussions that focused on the successes and failures of the space world.”
Crouse hopes that the course inspired his C of O students to pursue a career in aerospace engineering. Students also discussed current events to engage in a fascinating and expanding field with significant business players like Elon Musk's SpaceX, Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, and many others advancing the field.
United States Space Force
The United States Space Force is the space service branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, one of the eight U.S. uniformed services, and the world's first and currently only independent space force. Select cadets from the Air Force Academy can choose to join the Space Force when they commission.