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First the wheel, then the printing press, then the internet. Could SpaceTech be the “next frontier” – a technological advance that takes human civilization to a whole new level of advancement? While some see space research as a vanity project for millionaires with little benefit to the average person, it is actually driving innovation in many industries.
Space technology has enabled inventions ranging from carbon monoxide detectors to memory foam. Today, four industries will benefit from SpaceTech: pharmaceuticals and research, telecommunications, cleantech and manufacturing. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
Related: This 2-year-old Spacetech startup is building Earth-imaging satellites to help industries
1. Pharmaceuticals and Research
Drug development depends on scientists’ ability to experiment with different solutions, which is often easier in space, as it turns out.where the microgravity environment provides Various advantages By simulating our body and making it possible, such as separating fluids and transferring heat. As a result, we can develop a wider range of chemical reactions and molecules.
Israeli company SpacePharma is at the forefront of this revolution. Through its tiny labs — found on spacecraft, satellites and even the International Space Station — the company conducts critical research at a lower cost than on Earth.While the average cost of hosting a space lab is $100 to $70 million, SpacePharma has reduced the cost to about $2 million.
The company’s brilliance lies not only in their research, but in the way they paved the way for all future companies in the industry, possibly including the world’s largest pharmaceutical and healthcare companies. For example, studying how reagents turn into high-yielding crystals in microgravity may help cure cancer. Stem cell research, anti-aging solutions and antibiotics are other areas where SpacePharma’s space lab can accelerate research.
Not surprisingly, many of SpaceTech’s biggest names have recognized SpacePharma’s potential and formed partnerships with the company, including SpaceX, NASA, and the International Space Station — and its journey has only just begun.
Because we live in a place with a well-developed telecommunications infrastructure, it’s easy to forget that there are many places in the world (and possibly your own country) where reliable internet access sounds like a dream. Placing the right infrastructure in remote and rural areas is difficult, but the use of internet satellites could change that and send internet availability soaring. Best of all, it’s affordable.
We’ve seen the power of space when Elon Musk moved his Starlink satellites over Ukraine to ensure the country’s people have access to the internet during tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
Then there is the use of satellites for data transmission. It’s getting cheaper and cheaper to put satellites into orbit. They can help gather GPS data and satellite imagery to understand what’s going on on our planet — especially when combined with artificial technology that can understand all the information or simulate different scenarios.This has helped us coping with the pandemicdeforestation and agricultural yields are other possible applications.
Related: How to Monetize Space Beyond Expeditions and Research
One of the biggest problems facing humanity today is climate change and ecological destruction. While space research can address this in a number of ways—look at all the debris floating on top of past projects—space also has great potential to fight environmental damage.
Recently, the United Nations recognition The role of space in achieving its sustainable development goals. For example, many projects are related to telecommunications, such as satellites that monitor Earth’s emissions.In addition, methods of keeping debris outside Earth have been investigated, such as ELSA-d Use magnets to pick up floating debris and burn them in the outer atmosphere.
The advantages of a microgravity environment don’t just lie in pharmaceuticals — it can also help produce a variety of other materials. NASA is already working on a series of space manufacturing projectincluding 3D printing in zero gravity, creating more solid materials and components for manufacturing and ways to recycle plastic.
Historically, the materials we could make in space were rarely useful enough to pay for it, but that’s starting to change. For example, ZBLAN, an optical fiber material that can significantly reduce signal loss compared to silicon-based fibers, can only be fabricated in space because gravity can cause defects in the material. space manufacturing co. Materials are already being created with promising results.
Related: What space travel can teach us about working and living on Earth
The “next frontier” is here
Space technology goes far beyond expeditions to Mars or space tourism – current innovations could transform countless industries and even human civilization.
Companies like SpacePharma and SpaceX are paving the way for a world where the sky isn’t the limit. Now, human researchers are no longer limited to the experiments and innovations we can carry out under gravitational and other Earth constraints. This has the potential to solve many of the biggest problems we face today, from deadly diseases to climate change.