Friday, May 4, 2012

Better "Made in Space" than "Lost in Space"

How would you like to have a product “Made in space”? Personally, I’d LOVE to have something like that stamped on a product somewhere. The whole idea is fascinating.

And that’s exactly the response the European Space Agency (ESA) hopes to get with their branding campaign.

Still in the planning stages, the ESA is working towards increasing public awareness of the value of the International Space Station (ISS), space research, and space manufacturing. Many products and technologies actually go back to space research. These include memory foam (think Tempur-pedicTM type beds), in-ear thermometers, and even the laser used in DVDs. The average time from research to commercial development is three to five years.
Image Credit:  NASA

Up and coming new technologies include alloys for jet engines.  Signficantly lighter and stronger than alloys currently used, the new alloys could result in significant weight reductions, which in turn would reduce consumption, lower costs, and use less non-renewal resources.

Another breakthrough hovering on the horizon is a version of ionized gas used to kill harmful bacteria. This could be critical in efforts to fight superbugs.  As more and more antibiotics lose effectiveness, doctors will need more tools in their medical kits.

All in all, considering the benefits the world has received from space exploration, it's a good investment in the future. 

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