There is enormous potential for a wide range of industries to benefit from advances in space manufacturing and human space flight, according to experts speaking at the second day of Global Space Congress in Abu Dhabi.
Speaking at the Congress, the Former Administrator of NASA, Charles Bolden, stressed that efforts in the space sector should be used for the ultimate benefit on Earth. Bolden, speaking during a panel discussion on the future of manned space flight, took part in the Congress which brings together leaders in the global space sector to discuss industry developments, projects, policies and strategies.
The issue of the impact of the space sector on Earth-based industries has been a central topic throughout the second day of the Congress, as panellists have addressed the issue in discussions focused on the impact of space manufacturing on industry, and the new and emerging technologies which have developed as a result of space exploration.
Speaking in-between panel discussions at the Congress, Greg Knapp, Director of Business Development Space Systems, BAE Systems Inc., said: “The Global Space Congress has identified a number of future trends, such as Artificial Intelligence and machine learning in space that will require increasingly high-performance on-board processing capabilities and technologies.”
Knapp concluded: “BAE Systems is proud to lead the development of these next-generation processors, which leverage the Mubadala Global Foundries 45mn technology, to deliver the most advanced processing electronics to enable these future needs.”
The session titled ‘Space Manufacturing and Industry’ heard from the Head of Projects at the UAE Space Agency, Abdulla Al Marar, who spoke about how the hydrocarbon sector would eventually be able to make use of products that had been manufactured in space. Speaking alongside him, Andrew Rush, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Made In Space, spoke of his aim to create an economic boom driven by low-earth orbit manufacturing.
Commenting on the application of space discovery to earth-based industries, Abdulla Saif Al Awani, Director of Economic Partnerships at Tawazun said: “As an industry enabler, Tawazun is committed to converting ideas to reality through a wide-range of incentives offered through Tawazun’s Economic Program. The policy is now more value-focused and promotes investments and projects across the entire defense and security value chain including projects related to complex dual use technology areas such as optics, communications and cyber security.”
Al Awani continued: “At Tawazun we recognize the importance of knowledge transfer and invite our fellow participants in the industry to approach us and openly exchange ideas to allow growth within the defense and security ecosystem that drive the future of the sector and fuel UAE’s economy.”
Speaking as to how such approaches impacted the UAE Space Sector, Eng. Salem Al Marri, Director General for the Science and Technology Centre at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) expressed his belief that the projects undertaken by the UAE in space would impact on industries on Earth through serving to inspire young people to study STEM subjects, which would have a significant impact on a variety of industries beyond the space sector.
Alongside the symposiums, which have brought together leaders in the global sector to share insights and knowledge, multiple workshops and related activities have taken place on the side lines of the Congress. Held at the St. Regis Resort on Saadiyat Island Abu Dhabi, the Congress will conclude Friday 21st.