Officials said more than 4,000 technologies developed for China’s manned space program have been widely applied in a number of sectors. For example, space-based breeding technology alone has already generated more than 200 billion yuan ($30 billion).
Last month, Hao Chun, director of the China Manned Space Agency, said at a press conference that the country’s manned space program is a great undertaking, “both noble and mundane,” adding that its development can lead to the modernization of related industries and promote development socio-economic development.
Astronaut Wang Yaping, a member of the Shenzhou 13 crew, gives a lecture from the Tiangong space station to students in Macau in December. (Zhang Jinxia/Xinhua)
In China’s 30 years of manned space program, more than 4,000 technological advances have been widely used, spurring innovation in sectors such as raw materials, microelectronics, engineering and communications. For example, spatial breeding technology has not only improved yields, but has also been used in areas such as food processing and the cultivation of bacteria and biopharmaceuticals. Thus, it brought economic benefits and contributed to food security and environmental protection.
According to Hao, human spaceflight is an activity that includes the most complex systems, the most intense advances, and the most dynamic innovations.
For example, thermal management systems for liquid propellant rocket engines can be used to improve the gasification of pressurized pulverized coal combustion, solve domestic waste disposal problems, and improve the performance of fuel cells to hydrogen.
As another example, research and development processes for technologies related to control, measurement, imaging and other components used in rockets, spacecraft and space stations can contribute to the modernization of intelligent industrial control systems.
In the meantime, heat-resistant manned spacecraft core technology was being used to make thermal insulation materials for civilian use. The recent Beijing Winter Olympics also adopted a large amount of aerospace technology, which was used in the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as in the athletes’ training equipment.
Many space technologies have also been adapted for civilian use, such as fast food and everyday items such as diapers, while space protein crystallization is being researched to help develop new technologies, new drugs to treat osteoporosis and muscular dystrophy.
In addition, Hao noted that manned space environment control and life support technologies, as well as research on the mechanism of combustion in microgravity and research on new materials, can also be applied to a number of areas related to livelihoods and provide more benefits.
“In the future, the Chinese space station will conduct a large number of experiments in space life science, space materials science, microgravity fluid physics and space medicine, which are expected to bring significant results and breakthroughs in scientific research and applied research,” he noted, adding that “we believe that these technologies will be more widely used to serve social and economic development, the national economy and the livelihoods of the population.”
Space technology has served everyday life throughout the world’s history of space exploration.
Thus, the commercialization of adult diapers was rapidly promoted in the 1960s after NASA astronaut Alan Shepard allegedly had to urinate in his space suit while waiting for the launch of Freedom 7 in 1961.
Air cushion shoes, on the other hand, are derived from a process known as “rubber blow molding” that was used by NASA to create the space suit. In 1979, Frank Rudy of NASA came up with the idea to use this sealed cushioning system as a shoe midsole and introduced it to Nike Inc. This idea eventually led to the birth of the Nike Air, one of the company’s finest products. – sales lines.
Likewise, if freeze-dried foods are part of today’s diet, it’s thanks to space technology. In the early days of the United States manned space program, feeding astronauts in orbit was a key issue. As a result, NASA has funded research into a number of possible food preservation methods. Freeze drying removes water from fruits and vegetables while retaining nutrients. This method not only helped to enrich the kitchen of the astronauts, but was also applied to everyday food storage in the civilian world.
Many other common features of everyday life are rooted in space technology: from smoke detectors, CT scans and magnetic resonance imaging in hospitals to solar panels, sunglasses and barcodes, people enjoy the convenience that space technology brings every day.