Space primer cover

Into Orbit: A Guide to Spaceflight

A New Era in Space

Humans have dreamed about spaceflight since antiquity. The Chinese used rockets for ceremonial and military purposes centuries ago, but only in the latter half of the 20th century were rockets developed that were powerful enough to overcome the force of gravity, opening space to human exploration.

The men and women who conceived and developed today’s most advanced launch vehicles and space systems were once young people fascinated with the STEM disciplines – science, technology, engineering, and math. Their successors will come from your generation.

Today communication satellites provide access to virtually anywhere on our planet and link people together in a way never before possible. Satellites scan our planet for changing weather patterns, new natural resources, and signs of the effects of human activities on our environment. The Global Positioning System enables anyone with an inexpensive receiver to pinpoint his or her location on Earth within meters. Space has become the new “high ground” for defending and maintaining peace among nations.

We’ve put together the Space Primer to provide students with fundamental information about the development of rocketry and spacecraft. If you find this material exciting, we encourage you to continue your study in the STEM disciplines and consider a career in one of the many fields supporting space exploration and development. The sky is literally the limit when it comes to career opportunities in this new era of space.