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Space Technology and The New Space Economy

China's Chang'e-4 mission_042823A
[China's Chang'e-4 mission made the first-ever landing on the far side of the Moon in 2019.Credit - Xinhua/Alamy]

The history of the universe is, in effect, a huge and ongoing quantum
computation. The universe is a quantum computer. -- Seth Lloyd


- Overview

Space is so fascinating! Space is big. The universe is bigger than we can comprehend. The universe is so large that stars larger than the sun and even entire galaxies appear like tiny points of light because they are so far away from us. 

Space contains every bit of matter and energy that has ever existed, but most of it is completely empty. When we talk about deep space, we're usually referring to the vast empty areas between planets. 

Space can be beautiful. Our telescopes can see the beautiful and colorful shapes of planets, stars, galaxies and nebulae. 

Space can be dangerous. In deep space, without protection, we would die instantly. Our home planet, Earth, travels through space, and its atmosphere forms a cozy blanket between us and the cold and other dangers of deep space.


- Space Technology

Space technology is technology used in outer space, travel (astronautics) or other activities outside the Earth's atmosphere, for purposes such as space flight, space exploration and Earth observation. 

Space technology includes spacecraft such as spacecraft, satellites, space stations, and orbital launch vehicles; deep space communications; space propulsion; and various other technologies, including supporting infrastructure equipment and procedures.

The space environment is a very new environment, and trying to work in it often requires new tools and techniques.

Many common everyday terrestrial services, such as weather forecasting, remote sensing, satellite navigation systems, satellite television, and some long-distance communication systems, rely heavily on space infrastructure. 

Among the sciences, astronomy and earth sciences benefit from space technology. New technologies generated or accelerated by space-related endeavors are often subsequently exploited in other economic activities.


Tsinghua University_071123A
[Tsinghua University, China]

- The New Space Economy

The new space economy is the rise of the commercialization of space exploration. Private investors, corporations and start-ups are investing in and contributing to space exploration. 

The difference between traditional space exploration and current space exploration (sometimes called new space exploration) is that the government no longer needs to intervene completely.

We expect the global space economy to grow rapidly over the next decade and beyond. Investments in space have been made since the 1950s, but what is changing is who those investors are and what those investments really take.

Launching products into space is getting easier and easier. Today, private launch companies can launch small 10x10x10 satellites into space for research and commercial use. Of course, they won't send just one. Launch companies launch together satellites from different companies, sometimes launching more than 49 satellites at a time. 

The number of satellites may quadruple in the next decade (Pultarova & Howell, 2022). There are now more than 2,000 in space, and that number will grow exponentially. 


[More to come ...]


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