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The extreme technology transforming space engineering
27 June 2019
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first Apollo moon landing. This was possible thanks to an extraordinary acceleration of space technology. Within a remarkably short period of time leading up to the event, engineers had mastered rocket propulsion, on-board computing and space operations, partially thanks to an essentially unlimited budget.
Since the days of these heroic endeavours, space engineering has matured into a series of interconnected technologies that deliver exciting new space science missions, a fire hose of Earth observation data and a network of global communication and navigation services. We can now land probes on comets and glimpse further back in time than ever before. But what of the future — what new technologies could help transform the space sector in the next few decades and how?
Image credit: NASA - Artist's impression of the NanoSail D satellite in orbit with solar sail.