The extreme technology transforming space engineering

Engineers had mastered rocket propulsion, on-board computing and space operations during the Apollo missons, partially thanks to an essentially unlimited budget, write Colin Mcinnes, Malcolm Mcrobb, and Zhongxu Hu for Phys.org.

Jun 27th, 2019
A rendering of a NanoSail D satellite with a solar sail.
A rendering of a NanoSail D satellite with a solar sail.NASA
WASHINGTON - 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, write Colin Mcinnes, Malcolm Mcrobb, and Zhongxu Hu for Phys.org. Continue reading original article

The Intelligent Aerospace take:

June 27, 2019-The Phys.org writers explore the dueling trends of space tech - miniature satellites alongside giants like solar arrays and the massive James Webb telescope.

"We are aiming to step down in space technology by at least an order of magnitude in scale. This would start with a 3x3cm printed circuit board (PCB) satellite, and then to even more compact devices," they wrote.

Likewise, giant solar arrays could be a boon to sustainable energy production on earth in addition to "cracking" water into hydrogen and oxygen to use as fuel for spacecraft. Large or small, the future of space technology is bright.

Related: Five lessons from Apollo for the new space age

Related: No ordinary clock: NASA's atomic clock is next step in space navigation

Related: China aces its first rocket launch at sea, puts 7 satellites in orbit

Jamie Whitney, Associate Editor
Intelligent Aerospace

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