As the world of aerospace continues to expand to include private companies like Blue Origin and SpaceX that are now able to send people into orbit, space tech can help life on Earth. The advancement of medical technology and space is something orthopedic, surgeon, chemical engineer, oncologist, and astronaut, Robert Satcher knows about first hand.
“A lot of the imaging technology we use on cancer patients: MRI, CT Scans owe part of that technology to what was developed at NASA,” Satcher said during a conversation with PBS NewsHour’s Nicole Ellis. From modern-day aircraft to cell phones, and video chatting services like Zoom and Skype that have become surrogates for human connection during a global pandemic, solutions initially sought to make interplanetary travel and communication possible are now integral parts of everyday life, Robert Satcher said.
The aerospace industry has become commercially accessible in the last years since Robert Satcher’s NASA Mission to space in 2009. Other peoples can also now visit space on privately owned and operated space ships through companies like Blue Origin and SpaceX. “It’s a good time to be a human being because, you know, these things are starting to open up and everybody is going to be able, or more people at least are going to be able to see what it’s like to be in space,” Satcher said.
Despite companies like SpaceX setting their sights on building a human civilization on the planet Mars, our journey towards becoming a multi-planet species is in its infancy. Scientists are still finding out how to make the 3-year journey survivable. However, one of the significant developments in commercial space exploration is affordability which can be reduced by creating reusable spacecraft.
Another crucial part of development over the years has been the diversification of the aerospace field, while still slow, Robert Satcher said that having people of different trades, backgrounds, genders, and ethnicities will be an essential part of making our galaxy more accessible to the human beings. “No particular group has a monopoly on either perspective or capability. So you got to get all of these different perspectives and everything to really maximize what you get in terms of development and research and technical advancement,” he said.