Significant investment from new players has spurred new growth in the commercialization of space. New satellite networks and services, new nations rapidly gaining experience going into space, as well as private entrants including Virgin Galactic, SpaceX and Blue Origin are all vying for a piece of the market. These players and others investing heavily in space will be the future builders of rockets, satellite constellations and space tourism.
Join Dassault Systèmes for the 36th Space Symposium – the premier event for global space professionals – taking place August 23 – 26, 2021 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. Learn how space organizations can develop innovative engineering, manufacturing and operation solutions with virtual mission modelling for a sustainable planet, with the required quality, reliability and safety at lower cost.
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In the meantime we thought you’d be interested in Navigate the Future’s recent coverage of space trends. Here’s our take:
Bezos, Branson and The Future of Space Tourism
Aviation/aerospace was one of the defining industries of the 20th century. As a wellspring of intrepid visionaries, it has inflamed the imaginations of youth worldwide, inspired new schools of industrial design, shrunk the effective size of the globe, and spawned countless technologies on which most people now depend but largely take for granted. No other industry has so persistently and intimately interacted with Earth’s inhabitants. What will be its impact in the 21st century?
There are no better examples than Sir Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos, who are using their wealth to help write a new chapter in the rapidly evolving commercialization of a domain that until relatively recently was the exclusive purview of governments. Their rocket ventures, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin, respectively, launched the first crewed vehicles built and operated by their own companies to the edge of space last month.
Will Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Power the Next Generation Spacecraft?
Spacecraft designers have two proven propulsion technologies they can use for developing vehicles for robotic and crewed missions: chemical, which offers a high thrust-to-weight ratio but isn’t very efficient, and electrical, which is more efficient but offers a low thrust-to-weight ratio. Now a third alternative is emerging as a potentially viable technology far better suited for deep-space exploration, including sending
astronauts to Mars and returning them to Earth. The benefits of such a system are compelling. For starters, a nuclear-powered spacecraft would cut about a year off the round-trip duration of a crewed Mars mission. That’s huge, because long-term exposure of astronauts to the hazards of cosmic radiation and prolonged weightlessness are major concerns. The engineering case is no less attractive. A nuclear propulsion system would offer virtually unlimited energy density compared to the best chemical rockets and solar electric propulsion.
How Additive Manufacturing Will Help Build a Future in Space
For the past several years, serious discussion has been circulating about returning to the moon as well as, for the first time, setting foot on Mars. In regards to both of those goals, it’s a matter of not if, but when. Technology is advancing rapidly, and one technology in particular is likely to carry much of the responsibility for the future of human space travel: additive manufacturing.
Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, has come a long way since its inception. It has shifted from a method of creating small parts to a means of constructing actual buildings, and the European Space Agency wants to use it to do just that–on the moon. All the way back in 2013, the ESA joined with architectural firm Foster + Partners to test the feasibility of 3D printing structures with lunar soil.
Does Space Hold the Answers to Earth’s Sustainability Challenges?
A team of scientists, engineers and architects is looking to space for solutions that will help us to live better on Earth, preserve its biodiversity and prepare humanity to settle on other planets.
Interstellar Lab is an innovative French-American startup founded by Barbara Belvisi, who believes that what we need to live on Mars could also alleviate the climate crisis we are facing. Her goal is twofold: to prepare people for life on another planet and protect our Earth in the process.
“It’s not about running away from Earth,” Belvisi said. “We are building a new environment for sustainable life on Earth and providing a test bed for future space missions. We wish to lay the groundwork for what will be the future of humanity.”
Interstellar Lab is building environmentally controlled, closed-loop pods that will connect via airlocks to form space-ready villages. Called experimental bio-regenerative stations (Ebios), they will recycle almost everything, making water, air and food as renewable and self-sustaining as possible.
Register Here to Join Dassault Systmes at the 36th Space Symposium, or to discuss your space program.