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Mechanical Engineering. 2019;141(07):28-33. doi:10.1115/1.2019-JUL1.
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On the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, engineers across the country are reflecting on what turned out for many to be the most important, memorable, and influential job they’ve held throughout long and satisfying careers. A number of them who worked on the Lunar Module recall the can-do spirit and sense of urgency that drove them to achieve an engineering milestone.

Topics: Engineers , Astronauts
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2019;141(07):36-41. doi:10.1115/1.2019-JUL2.
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When President John F. Kennedy set the goal for landing astronauts on the Moon, NASA was an organization less than three years old and had achieved only 15 minutes of human spaceflight experience. Some experts doubted Kennedy’s aggressive timeline could be met—but not NASA’s young technical workforce. Those engineers would engineers would confront hundreds of technical challenges in the years leading to the Apollo 11 lunar landing. This article tells some of those stories.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2019;141(07):48-53. doi:10.1115/1.2019-JUL3.
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The United States space program has been without a launch vehicle for human spaceflight since 2011. That was when the space shuttle Atlantis returned on its final flight. Since then, NASA has relied on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft to take its astronauts to the International Space Station. However, if all goes to plan this could soon change, as two private companies are working with NASA to launch the first astronauts into orbit. The companies, SpaceX and Boeing, are building crew capsules and rockets, designing space suits, and training astronauts to fly these new vehicles into space.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2019;141(07):54-59. doi:10.1115/1.2019-JUL4.
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Despite the popular belief that space is peaceful, the military has always had a large, but often hidden, role. Today, however, space is far more crowded and more economically and militarily valuable. That means more diverging objectives, opposing interests, and even open conflicts. This is especially true when modern militaries depend on satellites to communicate with remote forces and target drone and smart bomb strikes. Defending that capability—and knocking out the military networks other nations depend upon—becomes essential.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2019;141(07):60-65. doi:10.1115/1.2019-JUL5.
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The Moon landing in 1969 was a cause for worldwide awe, by the 500th anniversary in 2469 space technologies may be so commonplace and so critical to human society that it will be impossible for anyone alive to fully appreciate the triumph. This article looks at technologies such as space elevators, power satellites, and rotating space settlements--both in their current state of development and their future potential.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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