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space construction engineering - a new career fieldOpportunities for engineers in the design and construction of future large space structures are outlined. Possible space structures for the 1980's include a large mirror to reflect sunlight to earth for night lighting, an antenna for a personal communications system, a deep space communications relay system and a large passive radiometer to measure soil moisture. Considerations in the design of such structures include the lack of gravity, allowing structures to be built with much less supporting weight, the cost of transportation to orbit, leading to the use of aluminum or composite materials stored on reels and attached to a beam builder, and the required surface accuracy in the presence of thermal stresses. Construction factors to consider include the use of astronauts and remote manipulators in assembly, both of which have been demonstrated to be feasible.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Hagler, T.
(NASA Office of Space Transportation Systems Washington, D.C., United States)
Date Acquired
August 9, 2013
Publication Date
May 1, 1979
Publication Information
Publication: AIAA Student Journal
Volume: 17
Subject Category
Distribution Limits