What space technology is surprisingly old
Space technology for the car
The European Space Agency will be represented for the first time at the international motor show in Paris, which will take place from September 28 to October 13 at the exhibition center at Porte de Versailles (Hall 2/2, Stand 515). This may seem surprising at first glance, but on closer inspection it is more than justified, because after more than 40 years of space travel, space technology has become an indispensable part of the automotive sector.
Space travel, today the spearhead of technological research, is at the service of the automotive industry, and conversely, the automotive industry uses space travel. Whether rocket launches, the control of satellites or the sending of people into space - technologies are used everywhere that can be used in the automotive sector and make our cars increasingly powerful, economical, safer, more environmentally friendly and also more intelligent.
Performance and security
Solar radiation, particle bombardment and extreme temperature differences create a harsh environment in space. In order to be able to explore the planets, the sun and the stars under these conditions, extremely robust, but at the same time lighter and more reliable materials and systems are necessary. Today, these contribute to increasing the safety and performance of cars: the airbag, to name just one example, is the result of a technology originally developed for space travel.
Economy and environmental friendliness
Since spacecraft carry only limited amounts of fuel and cannot be refueled during flight, other solutions had to be found in order to achieve the greatest possible ranges. With solar energy, these devices can remain in use for a very long time and cover huge distances thanks to constantly improving storage capacities. These new possibilities can also be used on earth: the solar car NUNA won the international race “World Solar Challenge” in Australia last year and set four new world records in the process. The sun, whose behavior is more familiar to us today thanks to the scientific research carried out by the European Space Agency, is an economical, clean and almost inexhaustible source of energy.
With satellite-based positioning, drivers today have a built-in signpost, so to speak: they know at all times where they are and how best to get to their destination. The European navigation system Galileo will soon offer the precision to the meter that is necessary for traffic management in cities. Due to the advances in computer science and miniaturization owed to space technology research, every vehicle can now be equipped with the most modern navigation devices. What works in space also works on earth. The car of the future, which should be more powerful, more economical, more environmentally friendly, safer and even more intelligent, is no longer a science fiction structure, but, thanks to the knowledge gained from space travel, a tangible reality.
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