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The extreme technology transforming space engineering

27 June 2019

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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.