Top 5 Feats of Engineering
Published: 16 Apr 2013
There are a number of engineering achievements which have remained truly remarkable over time, despite numerous developments and advancements within the field. It is these extraordinary ventures which have inspired many aspiring engineers and stand as a testament to how those working within the industry can accomplish feats which at one time seemed unimaginable. Here’s a quick look at five of the most impressive feats of engineering:
1. The Moon Landing
Apollo 11 was the first spaceflight to land humans on the Moon back in 1969. Launched by a Saturn V rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, US astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin explored the surface of the Moon before being returned safely to Earth in one of the most memorable achievements of aerospace engineering
Despite the fact that this supersonic aircraft is now retired, Concorde is still widely regarded as one of the great triumphs of aviation engineering. Pioneering new technology which allowed the aircraft to fly at record-breaking speeds and altitudes, Concorde provided its passengers with transatlantic flights between London and New York in less than half the time of other commercial airlines. By 2003, when Concorde was retired, it was the last British Airways flight to feature an on-board flight engineer.
3. The US Transcontinental Railroad
The US transcontinental railroad was a hugely ambitious engineering project, and one which was to have a significant impact on the nature of cross-continent travel, particularly between the East and West coasts of America. Built during America’s tumultuous 19th century, the transcontinental railroad was a product of engineering advances during the industrial age, and went on to revolutionise the economic infrastructure of the United States.
4. The Antikythera Mechanism
One of the most ancient feats of engineering and still one of the most impressive, the Antikythera mechanism is an early analog computer which has been dated to as early as 1st century BCE. The device is thought to have been used to calculate astronomical positions, and particularly to forecast the occurrence of lunar and solar eclipses, based on Babylonian arithmetic-progression cycles.In terms of technological complexity and workmanship, the Antikythera mechanism was far ahead of its time and remains one of the world’s oldest known geared devices. The mechanism was discovered in a shipwreck off the coast of the Greek island of Antikythera and is today housed by the National Archeological Museum of Athens.
5. The Large Hadron Collider
In contrast, the Large Hadron Collider is one of the most modern great engineering marvels, and currently holds the title of the world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator.Housed in a 574-foot long circular underground tunnel with a 17-mile circumference near Geneva, this incredible contraption has allowed physicists to test various theories of high-energy particle physics, including confirming the existence of the elusive Higgs boson. Over 10,000 scientists and engineers collaborated in order to build the Large Hadron Collider, and it remains one of the most complex experimental facilities in existence.
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