STUDENT DESIGN PROJECTS SET IN THE SPACE ENVIRONMENT
DS 88: Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE17), Building Community: Design Education for a Sustainable Future, Oslo, Norway, 7 & 8 September 2017
Editor: Berg, Arild; Bohemia, Erik; Buck, Lyndon; Gulden, Tore; Kovacevic, Ahmed; Pavel, Nenad
Author: Ledsome, Colin
Institution: IED, United Kingdom
Section: Creativity and Innovation in Design Education
In the coming decades, the rapidly growing interest in space exploration and exploitation will require designers who have some understanding of the challenges to be faced in the space environment. Student projects intended to give some of that understanding need to be based on information available from the 60 years since Sputnik 1 went into orbit. This paper extracts some of the underlying factors which influence designing for space from launch to low orbit, travel in deep space and coping with asteroid, moon and planetary environments. From autonomous probes to the complications of human crew and even extra-terrestrial colonization could all be part of the career path for designers now on higher education courses. This paper is intended to give an introduction to the challenges which could form part of design teaching or a foundation for literature research. Some differences from the normal Earth environment are quite subtle, but can have profound effects on design thinking. Students introduced to these factors usually rise enthusiastically to the challenge influencing their approach to other unrelated design activities.