Space technology comes right down to Earth

Space technology comes right down to Earth

  • Technology
  • May 17, 2022
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  • 5 minutes read


Astronaut Wang Yaping, a member of the Shenzhou XIII crew, is giving a lecture from Tiangong Space Station to Macau students in December. ZHANG JINJIA / XINHUA

More than 4,000 technologies developed for China’s manned space program have been widely applied in various sectors. For example, space reproduction technology alone has generated more than 200 billion yuan ($ 30 billion) so far, officials said.

Last month, Hao Chun, director of China’s manned space agency, told a news conference that the nation’s manned space program is a major cause that is “as high as the ground floor.” He added that its evolution can drive upgrades of related industries and promote great socio-economic development.

In the 30 years that China’s manned space program has been active, more than 4,000 technological achievements have been used, driving innovation in sectors such as raw materials, microelectronics, machinery manufacturing and communications.

For example, spatial enhancement technology has not only promoted crop improvements, but has also been used in fields such as food processing and the cultivation of bacteria and biopharmaceuticals. As such, it has generated economic benefits and contributed to food security and environmental protection.

Hao said manned spaceflight is an activity that includes the most complex systems, the most intensive achievements, and the most dynamic innovations.

For example, the heat control systems of liquid propellant rocket engines can be used to improve the gasification of the combustion of pressurized coal, to solve problems related to the disposal of household waste, and to improve the performance of batteries. hydrogen fuel.

In addition, the processes of research and development of technologies related to controls, measurements, image processing and other components used in rockets, spacecraft and space stations can promote the upgrading of intelligent industrial control systems.

The heat-resistant core technology of manned spacecraft has been used to manufacture thermal insulation materials for civilian use. The recent Beijing Winter Olympics also adopted a large number of aerospace technologies for use in opening and closing ceremonies, as well as in athletes’ training equipment.

A large number of space technologies have also been adapted for civilian use, such as instant food and daily necessities, including diapers, while the crystallization of space proteins is being investigated to help develop new drugs to treat osteoporosis and muscular dystrophy.

In addition, environmental control of manned space and life support technology, and research on microgravity combustion mechanisms and research into new materials can also be translated into a number of fields related to livelihoods and offer more benefits, according to Hao.

“In the future, the Chinese space station will conduct a large number of experiments in space life sciences, space materials science, microgravity fluid physics and space medicine, which are expected to achieve significant results and advances in “Scientific exploration and applied research,” he said. dit.

“We believe that these technologies will be adopted more often to serve the socio-economic development, the national economy and the livelihood of the people.”

Space technologies have served everyday life throughout the global history of space exploration.

The commercialization of adult diapers was rapidly promoted in the 1960s after NASA astronaut Alan Shepherd had to urinate in his space suit as he waited for the 1961 release of Freedom 7.

The air cushion shoe was derived from a process known as “blowing rubber molding” used by NASA to create the space suit. In 1979, Frank Rudy, a NASA employee, came up with the idea of ​​using this sealed cushioning system as a shoe midsole and introduced it to Nike Inc.

This launch led to the birth of Nike Air, one of the company’s best-selling airlines.

Freeze-dried foods are also a common element in diets today, thanks to space technology. In the early days of the U.S. manned space program, a key issue was making sure astronauts could be fed while in orbit. As a result, NASA funded research on a number of possible food preservation techniques.

The freeze-drying technique removes the water content of fruits and vegetables while preserving nutrients.

The technique not only helped to enrich the astronauts ’kitchen, but also applied it to the daily storage of food in the civilian world.

Many of the most common features of everyday life originated in space technologies.

From smoke detectors, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging in hospitals to solar panels, sunglasses, and barcodes, people enjoy the comfort of these space technologies every day.



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