Int. Academy of Astronautics Home European Space Agency

I believe that space activities are impacting society through…
If the question were to be formulated this way I would immediately answer that the impact of space activities is mainly through TV. This would obviously not be the answer which is expected but it is a real fact as well as an important one not to forget.

However if the question is how space activities have an impact on society I would have to say that instant and worldwide communications are the important part of this impact today.
I would also add that these communications we enjoy today have become an inherent characteristic of our developed society, one that can not be lost without affecting very seriously our way of life.

Space systems provide these communications not only between people of different countries and continents, irrespectively whether they are remaining on land or travelling by land, sea or air, but also between the Earth and people. Space systems are constantly monitoring the Earth, the characteristics of its atmosphere, the temperature of its oceans, the situation of the crops and many more parameters of interest to us, at each point and in a continuous manner, and the Earth tell us those things we are interested in because they affect our lives and dreams. Space systems also tell us where we are and how to go to some place on Earth with an accuracy never dreamed of, which also improves our daily life. However this is only a first approach to an answer.

A second one would tell us that space systems also allow to communicate with other parts of our solar system. Through some kinds of space systems we allow the Sun to communicate and tell us what can be expected on terms of changes in our atmosphere. Through machines we have sent to other planets and moons of our solar system, they can also communicate and tell us how they are and how they change. We can also receive improved communications from places outside our solar system. It all allows us to understand our world and it will improve our future life. But this is only a second approach to an answer.

If we go deeper we find that space systems open for us the door that will allow mankind to explore and eventually conquer the Universe as it was dreamed by Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky one hundred years ago. Which will be a new era for mankind. But this is only a third approach to an answer.

It would be an interesting exercise to ask young people how they imagine a world without satellites, as well as what they imagine space systems can do for us in a future. They may be know better. And this will also be a part of the answer.

Dr. Jose Dorado
EN de CNM Bazán

Professional Category: Engineering


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