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SpaceTech (Like Elon Musk’s SpaceX) Will Disrupt These 4 Industries

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First it was the wheel, then the printing press, then the Internet. Could SpaceTech be the “next frontier” – the technological advancement that takes human civilization to a whole new level of progress? While some consider space research to be nothing more than a millionaire vanity project with minimal benefits to the average person, it is in fact driving innovation across many industries.

Space technology has already contributed to various inventions, from carbon monoxide detectors to memory foam. Today, four industries benefit from SpaceTech: Pharmaceuticals and Research, Telecommunications, CleanTech and Manufacturing. Let’s take a closer look at them all.

Related: This 2-Year-Old Spacetech Startup Is Building Satellites For Earth To Help Sectors

1. Pharma and research

Pharmaceutical developments depend on the ability of scientists to test different solutions, and it turns out that this is often easier in space. The microgravity environment up there provides all kinds of benefits by simulating our body and making it possible to, for example, separate liquids and transfer heat. This allows us to develop a wider range of chemical reactions and molecules.

The Israeli company SpacePharma is at the forefront of this revolution. From its miniature labs – found on spacecraft, satellites and even the International Space Station – the company conducts critical research at a lower cost than could be done on Earth. While it costs an average of $10 to $70 million to host a space lab, SpacePharma has cut costs to about $2 million

The company’s brilliance lies not only in their research, but also in the path they plow for all future companies in the industry, possibly including the world’s largest pharmaceutical and health companies. For example, studying how reagents become high-efficiency crystals in a microgravity environment could help cure cancer. Stem cell research, anti-aging solutions and antibiotics are other areas where SpacePharma’s space labs could accelerate research.

Not surprisingly, many of the biggest names in SpaceTech have recognized SpacePharma’s potential and built relationships with the company, including SpaceX, NASA and the International Space Station — and its journey is just beginning.

2. Telecommunications

Since we live in a place with a developed telecommunications infrastructure, it’s easy to forget that there are many places in the world (and probably in your own country too) where reliable internet access sounds like a dream. Putting the right infrastructure in remote and rural locations is difficult, but the use of internet satellites can change this and skyrocket internet availability. And best of all, it’s affordable.

We already had a glimpse of the power of space when Elon Musk moved his Starlink satellite over Ukraine to ensure the nation’s people had access to the internet during the tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

Then there is the use of satellites for data transfer. Putting satellites into orbit around the earth is getting cheaper and cheaper. They can help collect GPS data and satellite imagery to understand what is happening on our planet, especially when combined with artificial technology that can understand all the information or model different scenarios. This has already helped us tackling the pandemicand deforestation and agricultural yields are other possible uses.

Related: Making Money from Space Beyond Expeditions and Research

3. CleanTech

One of the biggest problems facing people today is climate change and ecological damage. While there are ways space research can contribute to the problem — look at all the debris floating there from past projects — there’s also a lot of room for space to counteract environmental destruction.

Recently the United Nations has recognized the role of space in achieving its sustainable development goals. For example, many projects are linked to telecommunications, such as satellites to monitor emissions on Earth. Ways to keep the debris out of the planet have also been explored, such as the ELSA-d take the floating debris with the help of magnets and then burn it in the outer atmosphere layers.

4. Production:

The benefits of microgravity environments extend beyond the pharmaceutical industry – it can also help produce a wide variety of other materials. NASA already carries a series of production projects in spaceincluding zero gravity 3D printing, creating more solid materials and components for manufacturing, and ways to recycle plastics.

Historically, there were few materials we could manufacture in space useful enough to justify the cost, but this is starting to change. For example, the fiberglass material ZBLAN, which could significantly reduce signal losses compared to silica-based fiberglass, can only be made in space because gravity leads to imperfections in the material. Made in Space, Inc. is already making the material with promising results.

Related: What Traveling to Space Can Teach Us About Working and Living on Earth

The “next frontier” is here

Space technology goes far beyond expeditions to Mars or space tourism – today’s innovations can change countless industries and even human civilization.

Companies like SpacePharma and SpaceX are paving the way to a world where the sky is literally not the limit. Now, human researchers are no longer limited to experiments and innovations that we can perform under gravity and other terrestrial constraints. This has the potential to solve many of the biggest problems we face today, from deadly diseases to climate change.

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