8 Space Tech Inventions which revolutionized Space Technology
Posted On May 30, 2021
Who invented the telephone? We all know the answer, it is Graham Bell. But who invented the cell phone? This answer does not come readily to our minds. So also with the case with few modern inventions in Space tech. Here are 8 important space tech inventions which revolutionized space technology.
1. The Invention of Hubble Telescope
The Hubble Space Telescope is an enormous telescope that orbits the Earth. On April 24, 1990, the Hubble telescope was launched into orbit by the space shuttle Discovery. Hubble orbits the Earth at a height of 547 kilometers. It’s the size of a large school bus and weighs the same as two adult elephants. The telescope never visits stars, planets, or galaxies. It takes pictures of the Earth as it whirls around the it.
Edwin P. Hubble, an American astronomer, inspired the name Hubble. He demonstrated that the Milky Way galaxy, which contains our solar system, is only one of many galaxies. His work contributed to the discovery that the universe is expanding, which was confirmed by the Hubble Space Telescope. The Hubble Space Telescope aided scientists in making significant discoveries about our Universe.
2. Large Hadron Collider (LHC)
CERN’s Large Hadron Collider is essentially an atom smasher. It is the largest and most complex experimental facility ever built, straddling the borders of France and Switzerland. The Large Hadron Collider, or LHC, is intended to reveal the secrets of the Universe by simulating the conditions that existed immediately following the Big Bang. It is the world’s largest and most powerful particle collider, as well as the world’s largest single machine.
It contains 9300 magnets and fires protons and lead ions through a 27-kilometer-long circular tunnel. The LHC’s goal is to allow physicists to test the predictions of various particle physics theories, high-energy physics, and, in particular, to better understand the conditions that gave birth to the Universe millions of years ago
3. Invention of Satellite Radio
For decades, there were only two options for listening to radio entertainment: AM radio and FM radio. However, in recent years, a completely new way to listen to radio has emerged—satellite radio. This type of radio broadcasting is done digitally. It has a wider range because it is broadcasted via a communication satellite.
In 1997, two companies were granted the license to provide satellite radio. They were XM and Sirius Satellite radio, which were both officially launched in 2001. One of the most significant benefits of satellite radio is that the programmers are not interrupted by commercials. This is due to the fact that the provider’s income is derived from listeners who pay for the service rather than from advertisers. Because the satellite radio signal is digital, you will hear crystal-clear sound wherever you go.
4. International Space Station
A space station is a spacecraft that can support a crew and is designed to stay in orbit around the Earth for extended periods of time. Astronauts on a space station can live and work in space for months, if not years. They conduct experiments and study the behavior of materials and living things in a near-weightless environment. They also investigate the effects of space travel on the human body. Early space stations, such as Russia’s Salyut 1 and the United States’ Skylab, were constructed on Earth and launched into orbit as complete units. Larger stations, such as Mir and the International Space Station, are built in orbit from modules or sections that are ferried up into space from Earth one at a time. Space stations have also served military and civilian purposes.
5. Invention of X-ray telescope
Earth-based telescopes are limited by light pollution, atmospheric turbulence, and weather systems. Furthermore, the Earth’s atmosphere absorbs electromagnetic radiations with shorter wave lengths such as X-rays, emitted by objects in the Universe. An X-ray telescope is a device that detects and resolves X-rays emitted by sources other than the Earth’s atmosphere. X-rays do not reflect off mirrors like visible light does.
This implies that X-ray telescopes must be quite distinct from optical telescopes. The mirrors must be precisely shaped and aligned nearly parallel to the incoming X-rays, giving them the appearance of barrels rather than the familiar dish shape of optical telescopes. X-ray telescopes must be carried to high altitudes or placed in orbit outside the atmosphere due to atmospheric absorption. The Sun, stars, and supernovas are studied using X-ray telescopes.
6. Invention of Reusable Spacecrafts
NASA launched the Space Shuttle in 1981, making it the world’s first reusable spacecraft. Normally, once launched into space, spacecraft will orbit the Earth continuously for a set period of time before burning out during re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. Because spacecraft are extremely expensive to build, a reusable spacecraft is a significant step forward for any space programme. NASA’s space shuttle took off like a rocket and landed like a glider. The orbiter space plane, rocket boosters, and external fuel tank comprise the reusable space shuttle. When the orbiter re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere, special heat-resistant tiles kept it from burning up. Initially, the space shuttle was used to launch satellites into orbit and to transport scientific experiments.
As the program evolved, the space shuttle was also used to repair the International Space Station and to retrieve and return previously deployed spacecraft to Earth.
7. Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU)
A manned Maneuvering unit, also known as an MMU, is a jet-powered backpack used by astronauts. It is intended to work in conjunction with the existing life support systems on a space suit. It allows astronauts to travel untethered outside of an orbiting spacecraft to perform various activities in space, such as satellite retrieval, science investigations and observations, in space construction, and rescue operations.
The Manned Maneuvering Unit was designed, built, and tested at Lockheed Martin’s space center near Denver and NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The MMU is the result of more than a decade of research and development. On the first test flight of the Manned Maneuvering Unit, astronauts Bruce McCandless and Robert Stewart became tiny free-flying satellites 482 kilometers from the space shuttle Challenger in 1984. The MMU has flown on three separate space missions.
8. Higgs Boson - A Scientific Breakthrough
We know that atoms make up all matter, and that electrons, protons, and neutrons exist within atoms. They are made up of quarks and other subatomic particles. Scientists have long been perplexed as to how these minute building blocks of the Universe gain mass. There would be no matter if particles did not hold together due to a lack of mass. Peter Higgs proposed that elementary particles obtain their masses from an intangible energy field that pervades space, now known as the Higgs field, as well as the existence of a new particle, the Higgs Boson. The Higgs field is made up of many Higgs Bosons clumped together, and it is this field that causes particles to have mass. Fifty years later, the world’s largest particle smasher, the LHC, buried underground near the French-Swiss border, proved that this tiniest of all particles exists!