Subscribe Free
in Space

Public support picking up for space industry development, says Global Space Congress expert

Posted 1 February 2017 · Add Comment

Public interest worldwide in the global space industry is undergoing a resurgence thanks to social media, plans for human space travel, asteroid mining and competitively-friendly banter between new sector actors, according to a leading advocate of advancing humanity through the peaceful use of space.

Speaking as a panelist at the Global Space Congress in Abu Dhabi, Minoo Rathnasabapathy, executive director of the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC), which supports the UN’s Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, said though public interest in the sector has rebounded, still more needs to be done to ensure general public buy-in.

“While there are many successful outreach programmes in place to inform the general public on the benefits of space, there is a need for constant support from the public. More can always be done to highlight the return of investment of space missions, and how these missions directly affect and improve the quality of life on Earth,” said Rathnasabapathy, who NGO’s focus is on pragmatic space policy advice to policy makers based on the interests of international students and young professionals interested in space.

The SGAC executive director was taking part in a Congress panel devoted to ‘What The Future Of Space Means For Humanity’ where she believes the inspiration and motivation the industry delivers took centre stage.

“One of the most important human aspects of the space industry is the inspiration and motivation we get through projecting ourselves through astronauts and explorers,” said Minoo. “The space industry challenges us to reach beyond the ordinary, and strive to push scientific and technical boundaries. Although non-quantifiable, it comes back to the need to grasp the public’s attention and ensure they feel invested in space exploration in addition to understanding the value of down-stream applications that help tackle issues such as climate change and water shortage.”

“While the term ‘space exploration’ encapsulated both human and robotic missions, we need to acknowledge that these missions serve different purposes yet complement each other. Although robotic exploration is more cost-effective, it plays a critical role in aiding human exploration by providing valuable information and context. Robotic programs however rely heavily on public support generated primarily by destination-driven human exploration to succeed.” 

Orbit-breaking technological advances though, says the SGAC leader, will continue to characterise the industry’s development.

“Machine learning is going to be a key element in space exploration as sensor technology rapidly advances. In addition, miniaturisation that equates to lower mission costs will see the use of robots in space exploration increase.” 

Rathnasabapathy said though initial public perception of the industry has been for highly-qualified, First World elite, much work behind the scenes is pointing to more cross-national co-operation to avoid a scramble for space and ensure a peaceful outcome for all.

“For several decades, human exploration has been perceived as being exclusively for established space players,” she explained. “More recently, a lot of work is being done to ensure that these endeavours are for peaceful purposes that require concrete regulations and policies as emerging space nations and private actors look to make their mark in the industry. Space exploration is a good example of international co-operation, and plans such as an International Lunar Base highlight the benefits that it can be expected to deliver.”

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

FIA2018: Wataniya Airways signs a contract for the E195-E2

In a deal that will see the Middle East’s first E2 operator, Embraer announced at the Farnborough Airshow 2018, that it has signed a firm order for 10 E195-E2 aircraft with Kuwaiti airline, Wataniya Airways.

SaudiGulf Airlines launches new mobile app powered by CellPoint Mobile

CellPoint Mobile has partnered with SaudiGulf Airlines to develop and launch the airline’s first mobile app to support booking. As part of the launch, CellPoint Mobile enables payments through SADAD, the national electronic payment

Emirates celebrates five million passengers in Beirut

Emirates celebrated its five million passenger mark at Beirut Rafic Al Hariri International Airport. The airline has been operating in Lebanon for more than 27 years and in celebration of this milestone, a handful of passengers were

Etihad Airways innovates upgrade programme to a dynamic live auction

Etihad Airways has enhanced its upgrade offering to a dynamic live auction which will make it easier for customers to secure a premium seat in a higher cabin class.

TS&S secures major global partnership deals with airlines

Turbine Services and Solutions (TS&S), a leading maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) provider for gas turbines and driven equipment, is expanding its network of international customers.

Emirates announces one-off A380 service to Accra

Emirates A380 aircraft will operate a one-off flight to Kotoka International Airport (ACC), Accra, on Tuesday 2nd October, as the global airline joins local authorities in celebrating the opening of the airport’s new Terminal 3.

TAA SK0902311218
See us at
MAPS18_BT1207131118MEBAA BT1004121218Cargo BT1004091018BIAS BT271017161118Istanbul Airshow BT22018ASDubai BT1004091018AIME19BTA3005120219GATM BT1004061118Aviation Africa BT0607280219