Although space vehicle launches are now accepted as an almost commonplace occurrence, the enormous forces experienced by the payload during take-off are no less than when the first Sputnik was launched in October 1957. Nowadays, of course, the mechanical stresses of entering an earth orbit are well understood, but with the increasing size, complexity and investment in satellites for communications, environmental and military purposes, it is still essential to carry out exhaustive tests on platforms and payload components to ensure that they will survive the rigours of their journey into space. The cost of failure has never been higher. The Engineering Development Department of Astrium, Europe’s foremost space company, is responsible for testing the structure of all the company’s satellite platforms and components, both for design integrity and in production. For a number of years Datascan 7000 has formed the backbone of their data acquisition system, providing accurate and reliable data for a wide range of tests. Astrium are currently upgrading their system to provide increased channel count and scan speeds.