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Space technology

Space technology

Overview
Space technology is technology
Technology
Technology is the making, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, and procedures. The word technology comes ;...

 that is related to entering, and retrieving objects or life forms from space
Outer space
Outer space is the void that exists between celestial bodies, including the Earth. It is not completely empty, but consists of a hard vacuum containing a low density of particles: predominantly a plasma of hydrogen and helium, as well as electromagnetic radiation, magnetic fields, and neutrinos....

.

"Every day" technologies such as weather forecasting, remote sensing
Remote sensing
Remote sensing is the acquisition of information about an object or phenomenon, without making physical contact with the object. In modern usage, the term generally refers to the use of aerial sensor technologies to detect and classify objects on Earth by means of propagated signals Remote sensing...

, GPS systems, satellite television
Satellite television
Satellite television is television programming delivered by the means of communications satellite and received by an outdoor antenna, usually a parabolic mirror generally referred to as a satellite dish, and as far as household usage is concerned, a satellite receiver either in the form of an...

, and some long distance communications systems critically rely on space infrastructure. Of sciences astronomy
Astronomy
Astronomy is a natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth...

 and Earth sciences (via remote sensing
Remote sensing
Remote sensing is the acquisition of information about an object or phenomenon, without making physical contact with the object. In modern usage, the term generally refers to the use of aerial sensor technologies to detect and classify objects on Earth by means of propagated signals Remote sensing...

) most notably benefit from space technology.

Computer
Computer
A computer is a programmable machine designed to sequentially and automatically carry out a sequence of arithmetic or logical operations. The particular sequence of operations can be changed readily, allowing the computer to solve more than one kind of problem...

s and telemetry
Telemetry
Telemetry is a technology that allows measurements to be made at a distance, usually via radio wave transmission and reception of the information. The word is derived from Greek roots: tele = remote, and metron = measure...

 were once leading edge technologies that might have been considered "space technology" because of their criticality to booster
Booster
Booster may refer to:In science and technology:* Booster , a motor-generator set used for voltage regulation in direct current electrical power circuits...

s and spacecraft
Spacecraft
A spacecraft or spaceship is a craft or machine designed for spaceflight. Spacecraft are used for a variety of purposes, including communications, earth observation, meteorology, navigation, planetary exploration and transportation of humans and cargo....

.
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Encyclopedia
Space technology is technology
Technology
Technology is the making, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, and procedures. The word technology comes ;...

 that is related to entering, and retrieving objects or life forms from space
Outer space
Outer space is the void that exists between celestial bodies, including the Earth. It is not completely empty, but consists of a hard vacuum containing a low density of particles: predominantly a plasma of hydrogen and helium, as well as electromagnetic radiation, magnetic fields, and neutrinos....

.

"Every day" technologies such as weather forecasting, remote sensing
Remote sensing
Remote sensing is the acquisition of information about an object or phenomenon, without making physical contact with the object. In modern usage, the term generally refers to the use of aerial sensor technologies to detect and classify objects on Earth by means of propagated signals Remote sensing...

, GPS systems, satellite television
Satellite television
Satellite television is television programming delivered by the means of communications satellite and received by an outdoor antenna, usually a parabolic mirror generally referred to as a satellite dish, and as far as household usage is concerned, a satellite receiver either in the form of an...

, and some long distance communications systems critically rely on space infrastructure. Of sciences astronomy
Astronomy
Astronomy is a natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth...

 and Earth sciences (via remote sensing
Remote sensing
Remote sensing is the acquisition of information about an object or phenomenon, without making physical contact with the object. In modern usage, the term generally refers to the use of aerial sensor technologies to detect and classify objects on Earth by means of propagated signals Remote sensing...

) most notably benefit from space technology.

Computer
Computer
A computer is a programmable machine designed to sequentially and automatically carry out a sequence of arithmetic or logical operations. The particular sequence of operations can be changed readily, allowing the computer to solve more than one kind of problem...

s and telemetry
Telemetry
Telemetry is a technology that allows measurements to be made at a distance, usually via radio wave transmission and reception of the information. The word is derived from Greek roots: tele = remote, and metron = measure...

 were once leading edge technologies that might have been considered "space technology" because of their criticality to booster
Booster
Booster may refer to:In science and technology:* Booster , a motor-generator set used for voltage regulation in direct current electrical power circuits...

s and spacecraft
Spacecraft
A spacecraft or spaceship is a craft or machine designed for spaceflight. Spacecraft are used for a variety of purposes, including communications, earth observation, meteorology, navigation, planetary exploration and transportation of humans and cargo....

. They existed prior to the Space Race
Space Race
The Space Race was a mid-to-late 20th century competition between the Soviet Union and the United States for supremacy in space exploration. Between 1957 and 1975, Cold War rivalry between the two nations focused on attaining firsts in space exploration, which were seen as necessary for national...

 of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 (between the USSR and the USA.) but their development was vastly accelerated to meet the needs of the two major superpowers' space programs. While still used today in spacecraft and missile
Missile
Though a missile may be any thrown or launched object, it colloquially almost always refers to a self-propelled guided weapon system.-Etymology:The word missile comes from the Latin verb mittere, meaning "to send"...

s, the more prosaic applications such as remote monitoring (via telemetry) of patients, water plants, highway conditions, etc. and the widespread use of computers far surpasses their space applications in quantity and variety of application.

Space is such an alien environment that attempting to work in it requires new techniques and knowledge. New technologies originating with or accelerated by space-related endeavors are often subsequently exploited in other economic activities. This has been widely pointed to as beneficial by space advocates and enthusiasts favoring the investment of public funds in space activities and programs. Political opponents counter that it would be far cheaper to develop specific technologies directly if they are beneficial and scoff at this justification for public expenditures on space-related research.

Specific space technology

  • Ablative heat shield
  • Aerobot
    Aerobot
    An aerobot is an aerial robot, usually used in the context of an unmanned space probe or unmanned aerial vehicle.While work has been done since the 1960s on robot "rovers" to explore the Moon and other worlds in the Solar system, such machines have limitations...

     (Planetary probe suspended in atmosphere.)
  • Atmospheric braking
  • Booster
    Booster rocket
    A booster rocket is either the first stage of a multi-stage launch vehicle, or else a strap-on rocket used to augment the core launch vehicle's takeoff thrust and payload capability. Boosters are generally necessary to launch spacecraft into Earth orbit or beyond...

     See also ICBM
  • Centrifuge
    Centrifuge
    A centrifuge is a piece of equipment, generally driven by an electric motor , that puts an object in rotation around a fixed axis, applying a force perpendicular to the axis...

  • Gantry
  • Human staffed missions
  • Rocket sled
    Rocket sled
    A rocket sled is a test platform that slides along a set of rails, propelled by rockets.As its name implies, a rocket sled does not use wheels. Instead, it has sliding pads, called "slippers", which are curved around the head of the rails to prevent the sled from flying off the track...

  • Lunar Rover
    Lunar rover
    The Lunar Roving Vehicle or lunar rover was a battery-powered four-wheeled rover used on the Moon in the last three missions of the American Apollo program during 1971 and 1972...

  • Mars Rover
    Mars Rover
    A Mars rover is an automated motor vehicle which propels itself across the surface of the planet Mars after landing.Rovers have several advantages over stationary landers: they examine more territory, they can be directed to interesting features, they can place themselves in sunny positions to...

  • Satellite
    Satellite
    In the context of spaceflight, a satellite is an object which has been placed into orbit by human endeavour. Such objects are sometimes called artificial satellites to distinguish them from natural satellites such as the Moon....

    • Communication satellite
    • Earth observation satellite
      Earth observation satellite
      Earth observation satellites are satellites specifically designed to observe Earth from orbit, similar to reconnaissance satellites but intended for non-military uses such as environmental monitoring, meteorology, map making etc....

    • Navigation satellite
    • Satellite television
      Satellite television
      Satellite television is television programming delivered by the means of communications satellite and received by an outdoor antenna, usually a parabolic mirror generally referred to as a satellite dish, and as far as household usage is concerned, a satellite receiver either in the form of an...

    • Telecommunications satellite

Future space technologies

  • Asteroid mining
    Asteroid mining
    Asteroid mining refers to the possibility of exploiting raw materials from asteroids and planetoids in space, including near-Earth objects. Minerals and volatiles could be mined from an asteroid or spent comet to provide space construction material , to extract water and oxygen to sustain the lives...

  • Single stage to orbit
  • Solar power satellite
  • Non-rocket spacelaunch
    Non-rocket spacelaunch
    Non-rocket space launch is a launch into space where some or all needed speed and altitude is provided by non-rocket means, rather than simply using conventional chemical rockets from the ground. A number of alternatives to rockets have been proposed...

  • Space manufacturing
    Space manufacturing
    Space manufacturing is the production of manufactured goods in an environment outside a planetary atmosphere. Typically this includes conditions of microgravity and hard vacuum.Manufacturing in space has several potential advantages over Earth-based industry....


See also

  • Centennial Challenges
    Centennial Challenges
    The Centennial Challenges are NASA space competition prize contests for non-government-funded technological achievements by American teams.-Current Challenges:...

     NASA prize contests
  • Exploration of Mars
    Exploration of Mars
    The exploration of Mars has been an important part of the space exploration programs of the Soviet Union, the United States, Europe, and Japan. Dozens of robotic spacecraft, including orbiters, landers, and rovers, have been launched toward Mars since the 1960s...

  • Human spaceflight
    Human spaceflight
    Human spaceflight is spaceflight with humans on the spacecraft. When a spacecraft is manned, it can be piloted directly, as opposed to machine or robotic space probes and remotely-controlled satellites....

  • Space exploration
    Space exploration
    Space exploration is the use of space technology to explore outer space. Physical exploration of space is conducted both by human spaceflights and by robotic spacecraft....

  • Space architecture
    Space architecture
    Space architecture, in its simplest definition, is the theory and practice of designing and building inhabited environments in outer space. The architectural approach to spacecraft design addresses the total built environment, drawing from diverse disciplines including physiology, psychology, and...

  • Space colonization
    Space colonization
    Space colonization is the concept of permanent human habitation outside of Earth. Although hypothetical at the present time, there are many proposals and speculations about the first space colony...

  • Space industry
    Space industry
    Space industry refers to economic activities related to manufacturing components that go into Earth's orbit or beyond, delivering them to those regions, and related services. Owing to the prominence of the satellite-related activities, some sources use the term satellite industry interchangeably...

  • Space industry of Russia
    Space industry of Russia
    Space industry of Russia consists of over 100 companies and employs 250,000 people. Most of Russia's space industry companies are descendants of Soviet design bureuas and state production companies. The industry entered a deep crisis after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, which peaked in the...

  • Timeline of artificial satellites and space probes
    Timeline of artificial satellites and space probes
    This timeline of artificial satellites and space probes includes unmanned spacecraft including technology demonstrators, observatories, lunar probes, and interplanetary probes. First satellites from each country are included. Not included are most earth science satellites, commercial satellites or...


External links

  • Race2Space.org - Advancing the Privatization of Space Travel 2006, Race2Space, in partnership with the X Prize foundation, is seeking sponsorship in order to support the privatization of space travel, research, and exploration for the upcoming Lunar Landing Challenge Contestants October 2006."
  • Space Shuttle - News and features about NASA research, aimed at the general public. Includes sections on astronomy, space science, beyond rocketry, living in space