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How will space transcend the science of rockets?




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A view of the earth from inside a space station. Image: Pixabay.

Pixaby

Perhaps one of the most intriguing facts about today's commercial space race and the innovations that continue to advance rapidly is that the revolution is not really about space technology. In fact, very few advances have been made in the last 30 years regarding the knowledge and understanding of rocket science. As with many other revolutions in history, what we are witnessing comes mainly from the absence of a unified national vision, the fundamental laws of economics and the apparent manifest destiny of technology for humanity.

For most of the last three decades innovative technological innovations have been the exception, not the rule. White House administrations come and go with the endorsement of Congress or the redirection of their requests, reflecting more narrowly the constituent interests and less broadly supporting a national vision. Over the years, much has been written extolling the benefits of spin-off technologies from NASA's laboratory research, causing large jumps in space technology to be largely marginal since the advent of the reusable, but very expensive space shuttle. Aside from the rovers of Mars and some brilliant scientific data collected by NASA's low-cost scientific programs, most of the advances have been slightly faster or less expensive versions of the innovations of the 1960s and 1970s. This unified purpose- an opportunity for some of our nation's brightest, made possible by the profits of the technological boom and encouraged by the childhood dreams of an ancient space age. & nbsp;

Today's space race probably began years ago with the realization that spatial data was very valuable to commercial enterprises as well as national governments for military or intelligence purposes. When they are beginning, the early stages of dramatic revolutions usually do not draw much public attentionthey are not the stereotypical big bang that anyone could expect. In retrospect and through the benefit of the historical context, events often seem to point to an inevitability in a long arc of history. So it is with the commercial space industry.

An early-stage event of this type was the first commercial use of the space-based GPS signal that was originally developed to ensure a navigable pathway for a strategic response to a nuclear attack. Another was the first commercial use of geostationary telecommunications satellites by the Luxembourg company, SES. These commercial pioneers imagined the use of military space technology having enormous value for business, and history proved they were right. In just these two cases, the resulting space technologies have generated industries worth hundreds of billions of dollars and created tens of thousands of jobs, while at the same time raising the standard of living in the world. Today, the GPS satellite system of the last century still in orbit is critical for all the services of service sharing and traffic optimization of the planet. So when the song of hope and soprano peace for all nations at the Beijing Olympics was watched live on television by more than 3 billion people around the world, it was the commercialization of space technology that made it possible.

The manifest destiny of information technology stems from the vision, enthusiasm, and financing of the Silicon Valley technology industry. Inspired in them is the fervent belief that the problems of society can be solved with technology and a fearless spirit that revolves around a willingness to always try new ideas to solve problems, rather than a blind acceptance of the status quo. Technological enthusiasm that develops smoothly with processor capability and produces a virtuous cycle of lifestyle enhancements has already infected the business of the commercial space. Yesterday's remote sensing and telecommunications satellites were the size of school buses, but today they fit on a desktop. These desktop-sized satellites can cost only 1% of their ancestors, making them available to private citizens today and promoting completely new ideas.

Where intellect, ambition and capital are plentiful, a new generation of space innovators has generated, relieved by tradition and impregnated with unbridled curiosity and brazen self-confidence. Many have come and gone, but the primordial DNA has already been set for the next generation of space explorers: move quickly, experiment early, fail often, learn immensely, build a scale-centric business, and do not look back. As this wild west of space is growing in a sector much like its older cousin, we hear the echo of a similar sound as the differences become more obvious.

Breakthroughs in big data and artificial intelligence have tremendous transitional value to this new data domain, but the rocket science part is still difficult and dangerous. The launch of the space is becoming more routine in the month and dramatically cheaper, but it is not the same as launching a new application in the App Store. These intricately controlled explosions of highly combustible fuels will always require precise timing and a comprehensive integration of advanced materials science, complex thermodynamics, and advanced theory of control systems.

This new spatial generation has awakened to the rationale of space exploration – it's all about the data and what can be done with them. With this insight firmly rooted in the awareness of investors, operators and consumers, companies are reoriented to scale, efficiency and productivity. The race continues and you can be sure there will be many unicorns on the horizon!

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A view of the earth from inside a space station. Image: Pixabay.

Pixaby

Perhaps one of the most intriguing facts about today's commercial space race and the innovations that continue to advance rapidly is that the revolution is not really about space technology. In fact, very few advances have been made in the last 30 years regarding the knowledge and understanding of rocket science. As with many other revolutions in history, what we are witnessing comes mainly from the absence of a unified national vision, the fundamental laws of economics and the apparent manifest destiny of technology for humanity.

For most of the last three decades innovative technological innovations have been the exception, not the rule. White House administrations come and go with the endorsement of Congress or the redirection of their requests, reflecting more narrowly the constituent interests and less broadly supporting a national vision. Over the years, much has been written extolling the benefits of spin-off technologies from NASA's laboratory research, causing large jumps in space technology to be largely marginal since the advent of the reusable, but very expensive space shuttle. Aside from the rovers of Mars and some brilliant scientific data collected by NASA's low-cost scientific programs, most of the advances have been slightly faster or less expensive versions of the innovations of the 1960s and 1970s. This unified purpose- an opportunity for some of our nation's brightest, made possible by the profits of the technological boom and encouraged by the childhood dreams of an ancient space age.

Today's space race probably began years ago with the realization that spatial data was quite valuable to commercial enterprises beyond national governments for military or intelligence purposes. When they are beginning, the early stages of dramatic revolutions usually do not draw much public attentionthey are not the stereotypical big bang that anyone could expect. In retrospect and through the benefit of the historical context, events often seem to point to an inevitability in a long arc of history. So it is with the commercial space industry.

An early-stage event of this type was the first commercial use of the space-based GPS signal that was originally developed to ensure a navigable pathway for a strategic response to a nuclear attack. Another was the first commercial use of geostationary telecommunications satellites by the Luxembourg company, SES. These commercial pioneers imagined the use of military space technology having enormous value for business, and history proved they were right. In just these two cases, the resulting space technologies have generated industries worth hundreds of billions of dollars and created tens of thousands of jobs, while at the same time raising the standard of living in the world. Today, the GPS satellite system of the last century still in orbit is critical for all the services of service sharing and traffic optimization of the planet. So when the song of hope and soprano peace for all nations at the Beijing Olympics was watched live on television by more than 3 billion people around the world, it was the commercialization of space technology that made it possible.

The manifest destiny of information technology stems from the vision, enthusiasm, and financing of the Silicon Valley technology industry. Inspired in them is the fervent belief that the problems of society can be solved with technology and a fearless spirit that revolves around a willingness to always try new ideas to solve problems, rather than a blind acceptance of the status quo. Technological enthusiasm that develops smoothly with processor capability and produces a virtuous cycle of lifestyle enhancements has already infected the business of the commercial space. Yesterday's remote sensing and telecommunications satellites were the size of school buses, but today they fit on a desktop. These desktop-sized satellites can cost only 1% of their ancestors, making them available to private citizens today and promoting completely new ideas.

Where intellect, ambition and capital are plentiful, a new generation of space innovators has generated, relieved by tradition and impregnated with unbridled curiosity and brazen self-confidence. Many have come and gone, but the primordial DNA has already been set for the next generation of space explorers: move quickly, experiment early, fail often, learn immensely, build a scale-centric business, and do not look back. As this wild west of space is growing in a sector much like its older cousin, we hear the echo of a similar sound as the differences become more obvious.

Breakthroughs in big data and artificial intelligence have tremendous transitional value to this new data domain, but the rocket science part is still difficult and dangerous. The launch of the space is becoming more routine in the month and dramatically cheaper, but it is not the same as launching a new application in the App Store. These intricately controlled explosions of highly combustible fuels will always require precise timing and a comprehensive integration of advanced materials science, complex thermodynamics, and advanced theory of control systems.

This new spatial generation has awakened to the rationale of space exploration – it's all about the data and what can be done with them. With this insight firmly rooted in the awareness of investors, operators and consumers, companies are reoriented to scale, efficiency and productivity. The race continues and you can be sure there will be many unicorns on the horizon!


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