Reading time ( words)
It’s hard not to get our hopes up that we’re entering into a brand-new golden age of space exploration, led this time by private enterprise. The innovation demonstrated by nimble, non-traditional, civilian companies in developing and deploying reliable, reusable lift vehicles, along with more affordable payload prices, has re-invigorated the Space Age. And don’t forget that the man responsible for SpaceShipOne—which, arguably, triggered all this private enterprise space development—was the IPC APEX EXPO keynote speaker this past January. (Read our exclusive interview with Burt Rutan here, as well as coverage of his keynote presentation here.)
My top 5 picks this week include the SpaceX Dragon splashdown, the Mars 2020 mission’s Ingenuity helicopter—featuring an interview with the carbon fiber company that built the helicopter’s landing gear—and the U.S. Air Force’s efforts to secure space systems with the help of volunteer hackers. Readers also responded to news from IPC and iNEMI, and blockchain turned out to be hugely popular.
With a nearly flawless, safe and precise landing, and the potential for quick turnaround and reuse, SpaceX is delivering on those promises made by the Space Shuttle program back in the 1970s. The news coverage we published was popular with readers, not to mention technologically and historically significant.
Goodwinds Composites: Putting a Helicopter on Mars
Published July 31
Simultaneous to the SpaceX manned re-entry news buildup, NASA launched the Mars 2020 mission. We’ve featured the Goodwinds team before, so it was exciting for us when they could finally talk about their work on the Ingenuity helicopter. Our exclusive, day-of-the-launch audio interview caught readers’ attention.
IPC and iNEMI Sign MOU With Focus on Future of Electronics Manufacturing
Published August 3
In this quote from the press release, IPC and iNEMI will “collaborate and share information on developing technology roadmaps, organizing forums, establishing new programs, and identifying additional industry needs and projects for the mutual benefit of the membership of both organizations.” By pooling resources and perspectives, these two industry associations will help us all to see the future directions and challenges more clearly.
This Month in SMT007 Magazine—IBM: Supply Chain Blockchain
Published August 4
When we set out to interview IBM’s Michelle Lam and Christophe Begue for the August issue of SMT007 Magazine, our intent was to gain clarity on exactly what blockchain is and how it would function in the manufacturing supply chain. When we featured this article in the newsletter, readers gobbled it up!
The global economies continue to carefully navigate their respective ways through the COVID-19 effects toward recovery. IPC continues to advocate for appropriate U.S. government legislation to maintain our momentum during these times. Not only is this news item important, but it was also of interest to readers.
Completing our space tech hat trick is the satellite hack event. This quote from Will Roper, assistant secretary of the U.S. Air Force, says it all: “Space is an increasingly important contributor to global economies and security. Letting experts hack an orbiting satellite will teach us how to build more secure systems in the future.”