With the advent of CubeSats and miniature satellites, the space industry has seen a push in recent times towards commercialization and an ushering in of the New Space era. These small satellites have left the research and university stages and have seen more commercial and military applications and appeal. Start-ups are created daily, and venture capital has quickly seen this industry become highly lucrative, some predicting a trillion-dollar industry within the next 10 years. SpaceX has dras- tically reduced the cost of launch, and companies like Rocket Lab even offer monthly launches to put your satellite into orbit every month. Starlink is promising to disrupt the internet industry with its constellation of small satellites that will offer internet service to all corners of the world, while companies such as Planet Labs are offering real-time versions of the well-known Google Maps.|
This race to space has quickly put reliability on the back burner. With smaller budgets than heavily government-funded juggernauts such as Boeing and Northrop Grumman, many of these startups cannot afford costly test-as-you-fly campaigns, making preemptive designing and computer analysis the more valuable. It is esti- mated that 50% of CubeSats and small satellites experience premature failure upon reaching orbit, with many never working at all. This book is written in a practical and useful manner to aid engineers in analyzing the harsh mechanical and thermal environments of space environments and to catch problems early in the design pro- cess before reaching the testing stage. The techniques are employed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who have been known to push the envelope across all aspects of space flight.
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