Please note that this article was originally published on the old UCT IEEE website. This article can be found here.

For their first event of 2010 the UCT IEEE Student branch was pleased to host Dr Peter Martinez. Dr Martinez is a Space Expert and the Division Head of Space Science and Technology at the National Research Foundation and at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO).  The topic of his presentation was Space Technology.

He gave a brief description of the different achievements that man has made in space exploration and talked about the different missions to the moon, neighboring planets and Voyager’s charter to the outer solar system. He then talked about the different ways in which space technology can be seen in our normal day-to-day lives. From cell phones that use satellite technology, or satellite television to global positioning and clock synchronization, all of which is possible through the advent and use of space technology. He also talked about how this technology can be used to capture different information on the ground, for example terrestrial pictures taken at locations where disaster has occurred as well as to provide communication at the locations when land based communications infrastructure has been disrupted.

The talk was well attended and the audience was engaged and captivated throughout the presentation. Students were encouraged to register for the space technology course that Dr Martinez lectures.