ATM machines, the internet, GPS maps, and weather reports all have one common denominator: outer space. Without space, these services would not be possible at the scale they are today. TE Connectivity’s leader of global engineering, Matt McAlonis joined Tyler Kern, host of Our Connected World, to highlight the trends in the frontier of space technology.
Space holds massive potential as a domain for defensive and offensive mechanisms while still providing commercial viability. As one of the world’s largest connectivity suppliers, TE Connectivity recognizes the importance of the space arena through its aerospace, defense, and marine business.
There is widespread commercial interest in the future of outer space, including colonizing other planets, mining space minerals, building the next generation of the internet, and providing a lunar port for easier space travel.
McAlonis noted, “Space harvesting includes finding rich deposits on something like a large asteroid, and we’ve already identified some of those, so the question is: How do we identify what’s on them? What’s the value of those elements, and how do we use them?” Resource harvesting is particularly interesting as a form of conservation on Earth and the ability it could have in making more environmentally friendly batteries.
One must consider a variety of different factors when building connectivity in different environments; however, the biggest factor for commercialization is finance-related. “The commercialization of space comes down to a few important things and a big one is cost,” McAlonis said, noting that historically space flight has cost $10,000 per pound.
Despite the barriers, one thing is for certain: Commercial interest in space is on the rise, and it’s only a matter of time before these futuristic concepts become reality.