MSU Denver

Launch into an exciting new career

MSU Denver’s Aviation and Aerospace training is one of the country’s largest and most sophisticated programs in the country, with unrivaled resources, distinguished faculty, and close relationships with aerospace companies. The aerospace industry in Colorado continues to grow and is currently the second-largest aerospace economy in the U.S. The state expects to see 16,000 related job positions in 2025.

Introduction to Space Flight Operations opens a door into one of the most innovative non-engineering fields in the aerospace industry. The course is designed to prepare you to work in public and private spaceflight industries. You will learn skills in space policy, operations, regulations, safety, management, and planning.

Upon successfully completing this course, you can join the workforce in an entry-level position or continue on to a degree in Aviation and Aerospace Science or Aviation and Aerospace Management at MSU Denver.

The class is taught by MSU Denver faculty experts in the field, 100 percent online, eight weeks long, and self-paced.

About the course

Spring 2023 schedule

  • Registration opens – Mid-November
  • Classes start – February 1
  • Last day to register – March 1
  • Class ends – April 1

Credit-By-Exam to convert the class to credit

  • Registration opens – March 1
  • Registration closes – April 15
  • Credit-By-Exam must be completed – May 15


The course is $395, with a $35 transaction fee per payment. There are no books to purchase.


If you choose to convert the noncredit class to credit through Credit-By-Exam, the cost is $122 with no transaction fee.

What do I receive after I pass the course?

After successfully completing the Space Flight Operations course, you will receive a certificate of completion. You will also receive a digital badge that will be embedded with the competencies learned. You can include this badge on your resume, LinkedIn page, portfolio, or share it with an employer.

You will also receive a personal advisement session with industry leader and instructor, Michael Botyarov.

Course description

Students will learn the history of space exploration, human travel in space, and the effects of the space environment on operations. Students will understand essential elements and systems comprising modern space vehicles and missions. Various national and international policies and laws, fundamentals of interplanetary travel, orbital prediction, and launch and reentry operations will also be studied.

Learning objectives:

  • Describe the significant historical factors of space technologies and exploration
  • Identify and describe essential factors of the space environment and their impact on space operations
  • Apply basic laws, treaties, and policies of space law to various aspects of space operations
  • Describe and synthesize terminologies and concepts associated with essential elements and systems comprising modern space vehicles and mission operations
  • Describe and analyze issues and challenges related to interplanetary travel, orbital prediction, and launch and reentry operations

Competencies to be gained:

  • In-depth understanding of the different facets of space exploration
  • Understands how space weather impacts operations
  • Knows the different legal perspectives of space operations
  • Exposure to technical knowledge like orbital mechanics, and fundamental knowledge of space operations architecture to encompass mission life cycle

Space Flight Operations career goal pathways

Pathway 1: Enter the workforce quickly. Complete the Space Flight Operations course and immediately enter the workforce with some experience with job titles like Technical Specialist, Space Orbital Analyst, Flights Coordinator, Flight Inspector, Flight Planning Coordinator, and Material Specialist.

  • Median salary is $47,900 year

Pathway 2: Continue your academic journey and earn a degree in Aviation and Aerospace Science or Aviation and Aerospace Management, which will allow you to increase your earning potential. You can find positions like Aircraft Program/ Project Manager, Senior Systems Engineer, Manufacturing Engineer, Quality Control Analyst, Aerospace Researcher, and Aviation Quality Director.

  • Median salary is $80,000 a year

Take the course to upskill your resume to advance in your career or discover a new passion.

Spaceflight Operations pathways

About the instructor

Michael Botyarov is a Program Manager at Sierra Nevada Corporation and an instructor at MSU Denver. In addition to his experience as a professional engineer, he earned a Master of Science in Systems Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and an MBA from CU Denver.

In the context of space operations, Michael was a systems engineer at Maxar who assisted with the development of the WorldView-4 ground system architecture. Michael was also involved with the development of the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion State (ICPS) for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) where he created operations and maintenance requirements. Michael is well-versed in space mission architecture and the life cycle of associated systems engineering projects.

Headshot of Michael Botyarov

If you are a current MSU Denver student who is or has been enrolled in courses for the recent current spring, summer, or fall semester, do not submit any forms. Contact Andrea Pazos at [email protected] for instructions on how to register for these courses.

Contact us

Email us

Phone: 303-615-1234

Office Location:
Jordan Student Success Building
3rd Floor – #330
Auraria Campus

Mailing Address:
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Innovative and Lifelong Learning
P.O. Box 173362
Campus Box 6
Denver, CO 80217-3362