Montana State University

EDCI 591-803: History of Spaceflight and Space Technology

The Office of Continuing Education at Extended University offers both face-to-face and online learning opportunities:

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Feb 01-Apr 22, 2016
Credit: 3 graduate
Instructor(s): Jason Marcks and Andrew Chaikin

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to introduce space science concepts associated with exploration and technology to build core knowledge that can be incorporated into the classroom. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to do the following:
  • Timeline robotic exploration and development from 1958 to 2015
  • Timeline Human exploration from 1961 to 2015
  • Understand many of the technological and human challenges of spaceflight, as well as the political forces that have shaped the space program's history
  • Understand scientific breakthroughs accredited to the space program
  • Understand the historical significance of space flight and the impact it has had on national identity
  • Evaluate the potential for future exploration and utilization of solar system resources.

Meeting Place and Times

This course is being taught online. Teachers login to the course at a time of day that best fits their schedule. It is necessary to connect at least 4-6 times per week and spend approximately 9-12 hours each week the course is in session, either online or offline, to stay current and successfully complete this graduate level course.


Jason Marcks, MS, MAS, ATP. Jason is a former high school Earth and space science teacher having spent several years teaching at Estes Park High School in Estes Park, Colorado. After leaving the traditional classroom he spent a decade as the Executive Director of Space Education Initiatives a non profit organization dedicated to improving STEM education through the excitement of spaceflight. He continues his education work as a consultant and also acts as an instructor pilot for Air Wisconsin Airlines Corporation training newly hired pilots to fly CL-65 regional jets.

Andrew Chaikin, BA. Science journalist, award-winning author and historian Andrew Chaikin is an internationally renowned authority on space exploration. His books include the best-selling chronicle of the Apollo moon missions, A Man on the Moon, the main basis for Tom Hanks’ Emmy-winning HBO miniseries, From the Earth to the Moon. He has interviewed all twelve men to have walked on the Moon along with hundreds of other pioneering space explorers in his work, and is widely regarded as one of the leading space historians. Mr. Chaikin has also authored numerous articles in magazines including Newsweek, Popular Science, Air & Space/Smithsonian, WIRED, Sky and Telescope, Discover and Science Digest. In addition, Mr. Chaikin has written and created online content for space-related websites including,, and


Undergraduate degree.

Target Audience

Science educators.

Time Commitment:

9-12 hours per week. If you are unfamiliar with this field of study and/or method of delivery, you may require more time.

Tuition and Fees

If you are accepted into a qualified online program, please see the MSU Online Only Tuition and Fees (PDF) table.

If you are also taking a face-to-face course, please refer to the MSU Fee Schedules.

Required Books/Materials

  • Into The Final Frontier: The Human Exploration of Space, by McNamara; ISBN: 003032016
    Excerpts of the text will be available as PDF's, so students need not purchase this text unless they really want to.
  • A Man on The Moon, by Chaikin, Penguin ISBN, 0-14-027201-1

Teacher/participants are responsible for purchasing A Man on the Moon on their own before the course begins. Excerpts of Into The Final Frontier will be available as PDF's, so students need not purchase this text unless they really want to. Both texts are available through

Computer Requirements:

  • Computer running Windows XP Service Pack 3 or newer or Mac OS X.5 (Leopard) or higher
  • CD-ROM drive
  • Internet access

This course uses a learning management system. You will learn more closer to the course start date.

For More Information

For questions regarding registration, contact Kelly Boyce by phone at (800)282-6062 or (406)994-6812, or by email at

For questions regarding course content, please contact Jason Marcks at

How to Register

You must be accepted as a student to Montana State University to take this course.

Learn how to apply.

After your application has been accepted, you will register via MSU's online registration system, MyInfo.

Registration requires a PIN number. Learn how to find your PIN.

Once you have your PIN, learn how to register through MyInfo.

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