5 Reasons Why the Space Industry Is So Compelling
Space has been capturing people’s imaginations for tens of thousands of years. From heliocentrism in the 16th century to the space race of the 20th century, humans have been striving to understand Earth’s place within the universe. Remarkable achievements — including the first satellite, walking on the moon, and the Mars Curiosity landings — have been realized by humans continuing to push the limits of what is scientifically, creatively, and physically possible.
It is by adopting such ambitious thinking and action that boundaries continue to be broken and the limits of human possibility are being pushed further out. Read on to learn why space continues to intrigue our species.
It captures the imagination and feeds the human desire to explore.
Ancient civilizations wondered and theorized about the universe thousands of years ago, and that same curiosity and desire to explore remains as strong as ever to this day. As the NASA website accurately states: “Curiosity and exploration are vital to the human spirit.”
By exploring outer space, in addition to learning about the history of the solar system, galaxy, and universe, we also gain a far greater understanding of our own planet and its history. Through these new discoveries we acquire greater knowledge, which is subsequently passed down to future generations, supplying them with the tools and awareness to make even greater discoveries.
It develops numerous technologies that enhance life on Earth.
The space industry has been responsible for a wide range of inventions and major scientific and technological breakthroughs that have improved life on Earth. The most obvious are those based on satellite technology, including GPS, weather forecasting, and satellite communication. However, the space industry has also invented things like baby formula, artificial limbs, memory foam, freeze-dried foods, and wireless headsets.
Other space industry-led inventions used in everyday life are cordless Dustbusters, scratch-resistant lenses, insulin pumps, CAT scans, Lifeshears, air purifiers, and even athletic sneakers.
Given the rapid advancement in technology within the current space industry, there are guaranteed to be many more inventions in the future that will enhance life on Earth even further.
It provides the chance to mine for resources and precious metals one day.
As resources on Earth rapidly dwindle, humans are looking to outer space — in particular, asteroids — where precious metals such as silver, gold, and platinum exist in abundance and could be mined and transported back to Earth.
It may seem like a prospect best left to science fiction writers, but asteroid mining could be a very real component of the space industry in the future, especially as the need for these resources on our planet increases.
Considering where space industry technology is heading, the possibility of building asteroid-mining machines in the not-too-distant future does not seem all that farfetched. Indeed, Goldman Sachs predicts that the world’s first trillionaire will come from the asteroid mining industry.
It is making space travel possible for private citizens.
If there was any doubt we are living in the future, then space tourism should convince you otherwise. Space has long been reserved for scientists and astronauts, but the industry has been making great strides toward building vehicles that can take the average person up into orbit.
While there have been just a handful of “space tourists” so far, private companies like Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin are focused entirely on space tourism.
The seven space tourists to date have paid anywhere between $30 million and $52 million per trip, although future excursions with companies like Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin will set a person back approximately $250,000. It is still a hefty price tag, but the fact that the space industry is now on the verge of sending tourists into space is remarkable.
It is no longer limited to government programs.
As mentioned previously, the space industry has grown increasingly compelling in recent years due to the growing presence and influence of private companies.
No longer is the space industry’s development reliant on government programs like NASA (although NASA and other agencies around the world are working closely with many private companies on joint projects).
In fact, space tourism is just one small area of the space industry in which private companies are investing money, time, and creativity. Artificial intelligence, biotech, and nanotech are all being heavily supported as well as various other types of research and data collection. This means there are fewer budgetary restrictions and no limits on creativity and visionary thinking, leaving the future of the space industry in great hands.