Satellites are built to endure decades in the most inhospitable conditions in the known universe. Paradoxically, engineers are now trying to figure out how to design them so that they do melt — planned obsolescence at 322km above the Earth.
Some of the fastest-growing cities in the world sit in high-risk earthquake zones. That’s why researchers are trying to figure out how to build tall buildings using a material that’s not only plentiful and renewable, but even more resistant to earthquakes than conventional building materials.
A few months ago, the European Space Agency and the University of Nottingham described a new project that would use satellites to monitor ageing, at-risk piece of infrastructure was at a given moment, right down to the centimetre. Now, more countries want in.