Lightning Course: How to build a spacecraft

Essential information

Event type: 
Date and time: 
Saturday 18 January | 10.30am - 2.30pm
Adults £32 | 10% off for 16-17 year olds
Royal Observatory, Planetarium & Astronomy Centre
Talks & courses
10% members discount

Royal Observatory Astronomer Anna Ross will guide you through the challenges of building a spacecraft and the difficulties of space travel.  

NOTE: This course is now fully booked. The How to Build a Spacecraft Lightning Course will run again later in 2020. Check the website again in Spring 2020 for more information. If you would like to express interest in this course or have a suggestion for another topic you feel would be interesting for our Lightning Courses programme, please email or the Royal Museums Greenwich switchboard at +44 (0) 208 858 4422.

While much astronomy is carried out using Earth-based telescopes, even more can be learned by getting out and physically exploring space. Since launching the very first satellite into Earth’s orbit back in 1957, spacecraft have been sent to planets, moons, asteroids, and comets. Join Royal Observatory astronomer Anna Ross to learn about the science behind designing the rockets, shuttles, and probes used to explore these destinations.

The following questions will be discussed in this course:

  • What challenges do different space environments pose?
  • How do rockets work?
  • How do you design a craft to survive in deep space?
  • How can a rover withstand landing on another world?
  • What additional measures are needed to protect humans in space?