How is space exploration benefiting humanity?
Satellites so far have provided a lot of information to us so far and with the advent of technology and innovation, it is said to offer much more. Below are just a few of the several ways in which space exploration is benefiting humanity.
1. Climate change - The earliest indications of climate change and action can take place in the remotest corners of the earth. It is through satellite imagery and observation satellites that we identify deforestation, melting of glaciers, desertification etc. Appropriate preventive measures can be taken up to prevent climate change.
2. Access to clean water - Satellites help us monitor reservoir levels through imagery and also provide data to countries. Accurate and early detection of water shortages also help countries make necessary arrangements of sufficient water for it’s people.
3. Staying connected - Satellites play a vital role in helping us stay connected via the internet. A global network of devices and communication systems work round the clock thanks to satellites that make these connections possible. Efforts are also being made to ensure connectivity in the remotest parts of the world through the internet to ensure increased knowledge sharing.
4. Ensuring efficient production of food - Agricultural land covers close to 37% of the earth’s surface, satellite imagery can help farmers make the decision of fertilising their crops, watering them and even when to harvest.
5. Protecting wildlife - Satellites help in keeping a close watch on dense forests and large oceans, they help in preventing poaching of animals and also alert authorities for proactive action. Satellites also help in preventing illegal fishing.
Impact of Covid-19 on space technology
Space as an industry hasn’t been spared by the Covid-19 crisis. The pandemic has led to huge delays in manufacturing and a disruption in the supply chain due to movement restrictions. In Europe, politicians are worried about a decline in the private sector investment in the aeronautical industry as a result of the pandemic.
However, leaders of nations recognise and understand the true potential of space in the long run and have ensured space scientists continue their normal operations. Agreements are still being signed, personnel are being appointed and funds from government budgets are still being allocated towards new space programs and satellites.
Infact, there have been instances where space scientists have been successful in producing cost effective ventilators that are helping frontline workers fight the pandemic in hospitals and public health centers.