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For the first time in history apprentices are being invited to take one giant leap for mankind and sign up for elite space engineering training.
The first degree-level apprenticeship in the field is being launched by Skills Minister Matthew Hancock at the National Space Centre in Leicester.
The programme aims to encourage more scientists and engineers into the UK's space industry, expected to be worth £30bn in the next two decades.
Below is three of the amazing recent discoveries made by NASA thanks to technology courtesy of the engineers who work within the agency.
Water on the moon
On Oct 9, 2009 Nasa’s LCROSS, or Lunar Crater Observing and Sensing Satellite struck water in a cold, permanently dark crater at the south pole of the moon. The LCROSS was a nasa probe designed to impact the moon, while a small satellite followed behind it measuring the chemical makeup of the material that was ejected. After a year of data analysis, Nasa reported that it’s mission found water ice in the floor of the permanently-shadowed crater it’s probe impacted. Later data from three different spacecraft indicate a thin film of water coats the surface of the soil in at least some areas.
In January 2005, Eris was discovered, sparking a debate among scientist about what the definition of a planet really was. Eris was originally deemed the 10th planet, but it and other Kuiper and Asteroid Belt objects were given the new class of Dwarf Planet. Eris is beyond the orbit of Pluto, and is roughly the same size, although is was originally thought to be larger than Pluto. Eris has one known moon, named Dysnomia. Eris and Dysnomia are the most distant known natural objects in the Solar System.
First Planet in habitable zone
In December of 2011, Nasa confirmed the discovery of the first planet found in the habitable zone of a “sun-like” star. They named the planet Kepler-22b. The planet is about 2.5 times the radius of Earth, and orbits comfortably within the habitable zone. Scientist are unsure of the composition of the planet, but the discovery has proven to be a huge step in finding a “twin Earth.”