Making Advances in Space Engineering (UF News)

Making Advances in Space Engineering

UF engineers collaborate to develop the next generation of space exploration

It was 1969, and space was simple. Only a handful of countries had managed to launch satellites into orbit. Just two, the Soviet Union and the United States, were vying for supremacy. And the lunar surface belonged to America alone.

Half a century later, dozens of countries and private companies have since jammed space full of tens of thousands of manmade objects. And humanity’s ambitions for space engineering are only growing: manned missions to Mars, permanent lunar bases, and ever-larger telescopes to peer into the cosmos.

To fulfill those ambitions, the University of Florida has launched the Space Mission Institute, an interdisciplinary hub for space research. The institute helps bring together researchers like Tori Miller, Ph.D., and Christopher Petersen, Ph.D., both in the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, who are partnering to imagine the future of space exploration, where self-guided satellites repair and upgrade one another and where we can build structures in space far too big to launch from Earth.

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