Fifty years after astronauts from the USA and cosmonauts from the USSR first ventured into space at the height of the Cold War, the world is a far different place. We have different national priorities and face new challenges. This talk looks back at the early years of the Space Race and how the sometimes serendipitous byproducts of these pioneering endeavors gave us an early warning about current global challenges regarding climate, energy, food, water, infrastructure and security. Parallels are drawn between the dramatic changes that took place in engineering practice fifty years ago and how the education of engineers is being re-imagined and re-designed based on scholarship and research today.
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