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The Open University

Microgravity: living on the International Space Station

The Open University via OpenLearn

Overview

This free badged open course, Microgravity: living on the International Space Station, will help you to consider microgravity environments in more detail than before! You will make direct ...

Syllabus

  • Introduction and guidance
  • Introduction and guidance
  • What is a badged course?
  • How to get a badge
  • Acknowledgements
  • Week1Week 1 Microgravity and the International Space Station
  • Introduction
  • 1 Microgravity and the ‘vomit comet’
  • 2 The International Space Station
  • 3 How astronauts get up there
  • 3.1 How to launch a rocket
  • 3.2 Location of launch sites
  • 4 How the ISS stays up there
  • 4.1 Practical experiment 1
  • 5 Is there any gravity on the ISS?
  • 6 This week’s quiz
  • 7 Summary
  • References
  • Acknowledgements
  • Week2Week 2 Ageing and microgravity environments
  • Introduction
  • 1 An introduction to ageing
  • 2 Ageing forecasts by country
  • 3 Bed rest and ageing
  • 4 Reducing the effects of ageing in a microgravity environment
  • 5 Research on astronauts and the ageing process
  • 6 Measuring your heart and respiration rates
  • 6.1 Practical experiment 2
  • 7 Comparing the heart rates of animals and human beings
  • 8 Preparing for the bread mold experiment
  • 9 This week’s quiz
  • 10 Summary
  • Acknowledgements
  • Week3Week 3 The quantum world
  • Introduction
  • 1 Research areas and orders of magnitude
  • 2 An introduction to quantum science
  • 3 Diffraction of waves
  • 4 Sodium D-lines and the hydrogen atom
  • 5 Quantum energy levels
  • 6 The double-slit experiment
  • 7 LASER cooling: researching quantum effects
  • 8 Gravity, timing and metrology
  • 9 Communication and security
  • 10 This week’s quiz
  • 11 Summary
  • References
  • Acknowledgements
  • Week4Week 4 Researching online sources
  • Introduction
  • 1 Do weird physics effects also occur in nature?
  • 2 Microgravity research and its impact
  • 2.1 Disciplines in space research
  • 2.2 PROMPT criteria
  • 3 Travelling to Mars
  • 4 This week’s quiz
  • 5 Summary
  • Acknowledgements
  • Week5Week 5 Bacteria and fungi
  • Introduction
  • 1 Microbes, bacteria and fungi
  • 2 Your bread mold experiment and yeast
  • 3 ‘Space bugs’
  • 4 Random positioning machines
  • 5 Can microbes survive elsewhere in the Universe?
  • 6 The habitability of planets
  • 7 This week’s quiz
  • 8 Summary
  • References
  • Acknowledgements
  • Week6Week 6 Microgravity environments on Earth
  • Introduction
  • 1 Felix Baumgartner’s record freefall jump
  • 2 Using drop towers to simulate microgravity
  • 3 Practical experiment 3
  • 4 Forming planets: an introduction
  • 5 Forming planets: using models
  • 6 This week’s quiz
  • 7 Summary
  • References
  • Acknowledgements
  • Week7Week 7 Space exploration and science
  • Introduction
  • 1 How much does the ISS cost?
  • 2 How much does space exploration cost NASA?
  • 3 How much does space exploration cost the USA?
  • 4 How much do space missions cost the world?
  • 5 Space research and its impact on social issues and problems
  • 6 Is there a difference between ‘good science’ and ‘bad science’?
  • 7 This week’s quiz
  • 8 Summary
  • References
  • Acknowledgements
  • Week8Week 8 To the ISS, Moon and Mars!
  • Introduction
  • 1 The astronaut challenge
  • 2 Astronauts: do you have what it takes?
  • 3 Human exploration
  • 4 Current and future microgravity research
  • 5 This week’s quiz
  • 6 Summary
  • Take the next step
  • Tell us what you think
  • References
  • Acknowledgements

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