INOVAX: Türkiye'nin Bilim ve Teknoloji Dergisi

Space Technologies and Space Mining

Space Technologies and Space Mining

Whenever human beings looked upon the sky, they have made developments that will improve their lives and raise their living standards. It has always been like this from past to present; humanity rose looking at the sky, built its present civilization and continues to rise.

Everything about the sky has been a great curiosity from the first man to the present day. This curiosity has enabled people to perform many different studies. Today, many applications or technological products used in different branches of science and in daily life have emerged as a result of research and studies in this field. The MRI device, which enables life-saving diagnoses to be made by imaging the internal organs, was produced as a result of space studies. Cancer detectors used in the detection of cancer types were first developed to detect defects in spacecraft. Ear thermometers and mobile ultrasound, which measure body temperature, also entered our lives thanks to these studies. Another example is memory foam mattresses that can mould to our body shape. These mattresses, which are recommended by doctors for pain in the body, especially for back pain, are made of polyurethane-silicone material produced to prevent astronauts from being hit during the landing of spacecraft. We owe many of the products we use in communication technologies such as the internet, mobile phone, television, GPS to the work done in the space field. The starting point of solar panels, which are becoming more and more widespread today, is also based on space studies. The solar panel developed by NASA, which works to provide energy source to unmanned aircraft at high altitudes, is used today both in our homes and in the industry to generate energy.
These technologies, discovered during the studies, developed further in the following years and became indispensable for our lives. So much so that these technologies are used in many areas, especially in communication, transportation, scientific research, intelligence and security. Today, we can instantly see our location with positioning technology, and we can see any point in the world without leaving our home. With the spread of 5G technology all over the world, a doctor will be able to perform surgery simultaneously in a different part of the world from where he is located. In addition, since 5G-compatible satellites will eliminate time delays in positioning systems, autonomous driving systems will become safer thanks to vehicles positioned in real time.
Apart from these, there are many technological developments that make our lives easier and add comfort to humanity in many areas from food to optics, but no need to mention all of them here. In short, it should be noted that all the work carried out on the spacecraft has a great impact on shaping our lives and this situation will continue in the future.

Space Mining

Many countries and organizations that conduct space studies are in a tight race. Now a new space race has started. The first space race took place under the leadership of political and ideological considerations. Today, this race takes place around economics and ideas. In this race, space mines are also at the beginning of the topics that have been frequently talked about in recent years. Space mining, defined as the extraction of raw materials from asteroids and other planets, is aimed at obtaining a large number of minerals and gases, as well as iron, nickel and titanium, which are planned to be used especially in structures to be built in space. Asteroids, which are considered to have a fairly rich structure, have attracted many companies from around the world to this issue. Because of this, many mining companies are currently operating in search of extraterrestrial mines. As is known, it is evaluated that the mineral reserves of high economic value such as copper, tin, zinc, silver, lead and gold that found in the world will end in the next century. Scientists are working on removing valuable elements such as platinum and cobalt from asteroids and transporting them to Earth. At this point, platinum group metals such as osmium and radium are very important. Because these metals are elements used in the field of Medicine and medication, they occupy a very important place in economic and social terms.There are mines such as iron, nickel, titanium, gold, manganese, palladium and tungsten that has precious mines that can be extracted from meteorites. Assessments show that in the next 10 years, it will be possible to transport the necessary mines to the world.

The world is no longer an adequate space for knowledge, which has become humanity’s greatest consumption. Therefore, we need work on space technologies more than ever to explore new lives and further develop existing technologies. Today, as a country, we need to invest in this area and focus on the work carried out. Because, many countries and institutions that have recently come a long way in space technologies will begin to commercialize this space. As the number of countries participating in this race increases, the future of humanity will change and take shape. It is unknown what the space age will bring in the future, but humanity is at its greatest turning point since its existence. As in the past, if we do not make timely breakthroughs and continue to ignore the work done, we will be a candidate to become the most valuable market place in this area. Just as with the invention of the printing press or industry 4.0…

PhD. Özgür AKIN

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