Controls Technology the Key to Future Space Systems,
LOCKHEED MISSILES AND SPACE CO INC SUNNYVALE CA
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Although the space age is barely 25 years, we have seen the growth from tiny, rigid bodies capable of transmitting meaningless electronic signals to complex, multi-bodied vehicles capable of performing a vast array of important science, military, and commercial applications missions. The evolution of guidance and control technology to support these missions has been correspondingly dramatic, and this evolution has been the subject of a number of technical papers in recent years. As impressive as these accomplishments have been, it is important to recognize that the progress has been primarily in the area of applications rather than theory. In fact, several noted authors have taken the position that spacecraft guidance and control is so well established that it no longer constitutes a field for research, with the strong implication that future space programs can consider this area as a flight-ready technology rather than one requiring major attention for future development.