7 Different Ways Space Technology Has Improved Our Life on Earth
Besides helping humanity explore the universe, space technology has also contributed to improving different aspects of our lives on Earth. Space entrepreneurs such as Max Polyakov, managing partner of Noosphere Ventures, have been among the most important figures in adapting space technology to suit Earth’s different needs. Here are 7 examples highlighting how space technology improves our lives.
By EMILY MOORE
- Cabin Pressure Monitor
Pressure monitor systems are one of the space technology inventions that have found use in daily life on Earth. Traditional warning systems for aircraft depressurization occasionally failed to detect pressure changes that caused oxygen deficiency and inconspicuous development of hypoxia, which could cause unconsciousness.
NASA pressure monitoring technology offers accurate pressure monitoring. It tracks cabin pressure and has been critical in protecting private and recreational pilots. The technology can also be useful for commercial airplanes, allowing people to travel safely.
- Earth Resources Observation
Through resource observation, we can use space technology for agriculture. The technology provides support and information for fisheries management, agricultural production, and freshwater management. It also monitors harmful activities, such as animal poaching, logging, environmentally pernicious mining, and fires. This data is vital in supporting causes to prevent the destruction of the environment.
Aerial mapping guides policy formulation and is a key contributor in the argument for climate change and why we must embrace measures to reverse damage to the environment. The data helps experts realize the areas that need attention to prevent further degradation and help protect life.
- Space-Based Communication Services
Another area we find space technology in everyday life is communication services, which impact many aspects of human civilization. SpaceX has been launching satellites in its Starlink project, which aims to improve internet coverage. SpaceX aims to maintain a network of 12,000 satellites, which will beam broadband internet across the world. Besides, satellite technologies have revolutionized finance, navigation, and banking, facilitating international transactions, video calls, satellite TV and radio, and streaming media. A lot of the communication technology we enjoy today, including the internet, relies on satellites to function.
- Climate Monitoring and Weather Observation
Another way space technology and climate change monitoring help improve lives is by observing changes in weather to inform protective measures. Space technology enables accurate weather prediction, and this is a critical element that impacts industry, personal decision making, and government. Used for weather prediction, satellites save thousands of lives by giving storm warnings. Besides, information from such data helps farmers and people in other industries prepare for seasons or changes in the behavior of weather during a season.
Besides, climate monitoring satellites scan for greenhouse gases and other indicators. The technology helps to check the overall health of Earth’s ecosystem. Without such technology, it would be challenging to plan for climate change as we would lack a scientific basis.
- Earthquake Protection
The other application of space technology and exploration in real life comes from NASA’s defunct Space Shuttle. It used fluidics-based shock absorbers to remove electrical umbilicals and fuel from spacecraft during launch. Today, the technology is used to absorb seismic energy, which protects bridges and buildings from earthquakes. Of the 550 structures fitted with the dampers, none has suffered quake-related damage. This technology enables engineers to design tall buildings that can manage disturbances from strong winds and earthquakes. As more projects embrace fluidics-based dampers, we can minimize the risks of earthquakes, especially on structures.
- Sleep Enhancing Technology
NASA-funded research established that the vestibular system, if subjected to low-amplitude vibration, induces sleep. Following this foundation, experts have developed apps and gadgets that work with a stereo system to induce sleep. With the technology, someone struggling with sleep will fall asleep easier and also enjoy better sleep. It stimulates your vestibular system with unique audio tracks. Its contribution to the medical industry has been instrumental in assisting patients who desperately need rest as they prepare for operations. Even those battling insomnia could embrace it as a temporal solution as they pursue treatment.
- Navigation, Space-Based Positioning, and Timing Services
Global PNT Satellite systems can pinpoint locations anywhere on Earth to within a few meters. This has enhanced sea and land navigation, precision agriculture, electrical grids, military operations, and other societal aspects. Ride-hailing companies such as Uber use space navigation services to manage location and calculate distances.
You will also find space-based location services in mobile phones used through applications ranging from dating services to maps, which have become an essential part of everyday life. Most industries, such as trucking, depend on navigation services to ensure efficient delivery of goods. The technology enables tracking of packages and helps clients know when to expect a consignment. Also, it’s useful for the companies to evaluate their performance. Abrupt cessation of these services would cause losses to the billions and frustrate many industries.
There are many ways space technology has impacted our life on Earth. From improving navigation and mapping to climate monitoring, you can thank space innovators for the improvements in life we enjoy today. Through space technology, we can protect ourselves against impending climate catastrophes. Everywhere you look, you can find an element stemming from space technology benefits, whether for functional purposes or mere entertainment.
How have you benefited from space technology? Let us know which aspects of technology borrowed from space technology you are most thankful for. Leave a comment below.
Emily Moore is an English & programming teacher with a passion for space and blogging. She believes that current exploration should be focused on preserving our planet’s resources. With satellites circling the orbit, it is easier to get relevant data on any environmental changes. This, in turn, should help people quickly address any challenges.
Photos by Bill Jelen , SpaceX and Gregory Pappas on Unsplash