Chapter 1 – Engineering
Engineers at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA)
Careers in space – Engineers
Engineers are problem solvers, inventors and innovators! They find solutions to real-life problems by using science and technology. Engineers make up a large proportion of the professionals in the space sector, and for good reason: engineering is key to the success of space operations.
If you would like to turn your ideas into reality, engineering might be for you! Who knows, one of your technical accomplishments may one day be just the thing to help astronauts complete their mission.
What does an engineer in the space sector do?
Engineers in the space sector design, build and maintain systems and spacecraft. They are responsible for launching spacecraft, landing rovers on Mars, building communication satellites that allow us to use the Internet, and so much more.
To accomplish these incredible feats, engineers use math, science and technical knowledge as their tools of choice. They apply scientific principles to real-world problems and provide practical solutions, turning science into technology.
Examples of engineering solutions to problems in the space sector
Problem: Sending a probe to an asteroid takes a lot of fuel.
Solution: Calculate a trajectory that uses planets’ gravities to propel the probe and save fuel.
Problem: Extreme temperatures in space damage electronic equipment
Solution: Find or create materials that can withstand the extreme temperatures of space
Problem: Operating a rover on Mars is very difficult because of the 15-minute communication delay.
Solution: Build an artificial intelligence system so that the rover can work autonomously.