Mankind has long benefited tremendouslyfrom space technology, especially in the field of communications, navigation, observation of the atmosphere and subsoil. However, their further development can bring us much more benefit.
Positive impact today
Over the past 60 years, the Earth’s orbit has been launched.more than 8100 satellites, 135 vehicles were sent to the moon and the ISS was built. Each of these projects costs millions of dollars, but in the end, the benefits of using them far exceed costs. Even if you do not take into account that over the past year, satellite industry earned $ 277 billion in revenue; space technology has become a critical element of our daily lives, affecting governments, industry, and personal decision making.
Accurate weather forecasting withorbital systems save thousands of lives every year, warning people about natural disasters. Earth monitoring provides us with useful information necessary for efficient agriculture, fisheries and forestry management, and monitoring harmful activities and pollution.
Space communications capabilities have a positive effecton almost all aspects of human civilization. Satellite technology has already revolutionized banking, finance, telecommunications, making international calls, video streams, multimedia and radio commonplace.
Global navigation systems that maydetermine the location with an accuracy of several centimeters anywhere in the world, affect logistics, military operations, electrical networks, industry and many other areas.
In addition to commercial satellite services, itselfthe space industry is in the process of moving beyond the limited state budgets, opening up new economic opportunities, not only for those who work directly in this sector, but also for many related companies.
In addition to the economy, new discoveries and achievements in this area inspire young people, which stimulates the development of science, technology and art.
Joint space projects between countries are sometimes the only positive force opposing mutual suspicion and geopolitical rivalry. The ISS is a prime example.
There are currently over 2000 examples.space technologies that have found useful applications on Earth, including battery powered power tools, lyophilized food products, integrated circuits, lightweight isolation, advanced kidney dialysis, and automatic transactions.
Prospects for the next 5-20 years
Constellations of communication satellites that are planningbring to a low orbit, will benefit end users of business services in various sectors of the economy. The plans for creating such projects have already been announced by SpaceX, OneWeb, Telesat, Amazon and Samsung.
Researchers on the ISS and some private companiesbegin to develop orbital production projects. They provide for the creation of products that are more profitable to produce in microgravity than on Earth. These include ZBLAN fiber optic material, bioprinting, industrial crystallization, super alloy casting and ceramic stereolithography.
The first supersonic air transport appearedin the 1970s, but recently several companies have begun to study the technology of hypersonic aircraft and suborbital flights, which will allow you to get to anywhere in the world in less than an hour. This area of development includes space tourism and comfortable orbital hotels.
With the growth of knowledge about the space environment, humanityrealized that asteroids, which can do great harm, will occasionally fall to the surface of the planet. The early warning system is the first step, but now they are already beginning to develop technologies for their rejection.
In open space, sunlight does notIt is filtered by the Earth’s atmosphere, there is also no change of day or night, so orbital power plants will be able to work around the clock. The collected energy will then be transmitted in the form of microwave or laser beams to ground-based receivers that convert it into electricity. China has already announced the development of such a system.
Many researchers discuss prospectstransferring data centers into space. In addition to saving on cooling (vacuum can be used as a heat insulator), they can be powered by solar panels around the clock, and hard drives work better in microgravity.
Economists predict space miningwill soon become the new gold rush and create the first trillionaires. The extracted water can be used as fuel, and valuable minerals and elements for orbital construction and production. At the same time, mining methods will differ from terrestrial ones due to environmental conditions and a higher concentration of valuable materials in asteroids.
Limited physical resources and highthe cost of operating in space will stimulate the improvement of the systems of recirculation of gases, water, nutrients, materials necessary for life support, as well as methods of organic farming. Technologies for more efficient use of limited resources can be applied on Earth.
Potential in the more distant future
In the long run, broadproduction and disposal of waste in open space will be spread. The development of space industrialization will allow the creation of global structures, such as a canopy to control the level of solar radiation and incoming light to control the temperature of the atmosphere.
In some cases, low gravity mayhave a positive effect on the human body, which can be used for medical purposes. For example, diseases associated with obesity and joint pain can be partially or even completely eliminated under microgravity conditions on the Moon, Mars or orbital station.
Humanity's mastery of distant worlds will openopportunities for social, economic and political experiments. The construction of isolated ecosystems will also allow the creation of conditions for biodiversity conservation, breeding of endangered species, or even recreation of extinct ones.