From the comfort of The Font, discover how researchers in Manchester are going above and beyond cycling to work to save our planet. This evening will discuss sustainable missions: from the University of Manchester’s first ever spacecraft, to how we can use space to make the world a better place… 3…2…1…come Pint of Science us for lift off!!
Using space to make a world a better place
Dr Ciara McGrath (Lecturer in Aerospace Systems, The University of Manchester (Institute of Engineering and Technology Young Woman Engineer of the Year 2021)
What do you think of when you think of space? Astronauts? Galaxies? Aliens? The final frontier? In fact, most of our space missions don’t go very far from Earth at all. More than 5000 spacecraft are currently orbiting just above our heads, less than 1000km above the surface of the Earth (that’s less than the length of Great Britain!). These spacecraft look down on us – taking images and providing invisible services that we use every day. In this talk we’ll take a closer look at some of these spacecraft, and learn how engineers and scientists are using space to make the world a better place.
SOAR – the University of Manchester’s first satelite
Dr Nicholas Crisp (Lecturer in Aerospace Systems, The University of Manchester)
The University of Manchester’s first satellite, the “Satellite Orbital Aerodynamics Research”, recently decayed from orbit after a 9-month mission to perform investigations in the thin atmosphere in very low Earth orbit. The aim of these experiments was to improve our understanding of how gas particles interact with spacecraft surfaces to cause aerodynamic drag and ultimately re-entry. In this talk I will discuss the mission and how it is playing a role in helping future spacecraft to orbit closer to the Earth, allowing improved communications and imaging performance at lower cost.