Watch this space! Stevenage is at the head of the race...
- Credit: Archant
An engineer who helped build the Rosetta spacecraft which stunned the world by helping a probe land on a comet has spoken about making history in Stevenage.
Phil McGoldrick joined the Rosetta space programme as an engineering manager at Airbus Defence and Space, on Gunnels Wood Road, in 1999, just months after construction started.
The 54-year-old spent the next five years managing a team of engineers as they worked with more than 200 other contractors across Europe to build the spacecraft and its philae probe – which landed on Comet 67P/C-G, 511 million kilometres away, on Wednesday last week.
He said: “It was a great project to be part of because you had so many people from different disciplines working together. At the Stevenage site we designed, manufactured and built the communication systems and solar panels for the spacecraft.
“At the time we were all totally engrossed in it but after the launch you get on with other things and forget about it.
You may also want to watch:
“It was only when the probe landed on the comet that I thought back to all the time we spent working on the project and what a fantastic achievement it was.
“Now that the probe is inactive Rosetta will begin to scan the comet to try and determine what it is made out of. It will send all this information back to earth where we can analyse it and hopefully learn more about the universe.”
- 1 Devastated wife pays tribute to Stewart Macgregor following e-scooter accident
- 2 Dozens die after catching COVID-19 in our hospitals
- 3 Man in 70s arrested following A600 crash
- 4 Delivery driver forced to floor in mobile phone robbery
- 5 As Michael Keaton's Batman returns, Knebworth House features in first teaser for The Flash movie
- 6 Goldfish prizes to be banned on council-owned land
- 7 Road closures following crash in Letchworth
- 8 Letchworth and Baldock Sergeant set to retire after two decades in Herts
- 9 Hitchin launches H-Town Pounds
- 10 7 haunted locations that will give you a Halloween fright
Mr McGoldrick, who began his career at the site in 1981, revealed that space is a growing industry in the town and there are lots of opportunities for people who are interested in working in the field.
He said: “I’ve spent my entire career working in space and think it’s a brilliant industry that never ceases to amaze. We have fantastic apprenticeship programmes here which are always looking for people to join and I would encourage anyone interested to apply.”
For more information visit www.space-airbusds.com.