IEEE Commemorates Anniversary of Human Space Travel

Many members are sharing first-hand stories from behind the scenes

3 min read
Photo of Astronaut Buzz Aldrin on the moon's surface.
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, lunar module pilot of the first lunar landing mission, on the moon’s surface.
Photo: JSC/NASA

THE INSTITUTEThroughout 2019 IEEE is commemorating space travel and the members who developed technologies that made the achievement possible. The IEEE History Center, which is leading the Footsteps: IEEE’s Commemoration of Human Space Travel effort, is working with several organizations to hold events throughout the United States to celebrate.

Apollo 11 launched from Florida on 16 July 1969, carrying Commander Neil Armstrong, command module pilot Michael Collins, and lunar module pilot Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin. Their mission was to gather samples of the moon and take photographs of the terrain to bring back to Earth. Four days after landing, Armstrong made history by becoming the first person to walk on the moon. Aldrin joined him.

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Practical Power Beaming Gets Real

A century later, Nikola Tesla’s dream comes true

8 min read
This nighttime outdoor image, with city lights in the background, shows a narrow beam of light shining on a circular receiver that is positioned on the top of a pole.

A power-beaming system developed by PowerLight Technologies conveyed hundreds of watts of power during a 2019 demonstration at the Port of Seattle.

PowerLight Technologies
Yellow

Wires have a lot going for them when it comes to moving electric power around, but they have their drawbacks too. Who, after all, hasn’t tired of having to plug in and unplug their phone and other rechargeable gizmos? It’s a nuisance.

Wires also challenge electric utilities: These companies must take pains to boost the voltage they apply to their transmission cables to very high values to avoid dissipating most of the power along the way. And when it comes to powering public transportation, including electric trains and trams, wires need to be used in tandem with rolling or sliding contacts, which are troublesome to maintain, can spark, and in some settings will generate problematic contaminants.

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