How does space technology help us with climate issues here on earth? The use of space technologies for disaster management as well as climate change-related issues continues to gain increasing attention around the world. Several national space organizations such as the European Space Agency (ESA) and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) are calling for an active increase in the use of satellites for disaster mitigation and recovery efforts.
As a species, humans have progressed rapidly over the last half-century towards a world of information. The rise of the internet has changed the expectations and ability of learning and communicating. Although this change does seem ubiquitous, a large portion of the population still lacks consistent internet access. This discrepancy lies in the profitability and feasibility of building ground infrastructure for wireless broadband. Now, however, with the rise of the commercial space industry partnering with nations throughout the globe, orbital satellites in Low-Earth Orbit (LEO), Mid-Earth Orbit (MEO), and Geospatial-Earth Orbit (GEO) have the capacity to revolutionize internet accessibility. In accordance with the UN Sustainable Development Goal 17, Partnerships, countries and private companies are at a precipice to expand internet accessibility.
The space sector has seen expansive growth over recent years. With it, the role of space agencies has also evolved. Besides interacting with the private sector, they have also expanded their involvement within different industries. In addition, space-based technologies are playing an impactful role in addressing societal issues. The United Nations has developed 17 Sustainable Development Goals to tackle such challenges, including the “UN SDG 7 - Clean and Affordable Energy.” The aim is to “ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all” (United Nations, 2020).
United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14: Life Below Water seeks to conserve and sustainably use the world's oceans, seas, and marine resources. Underpinning SDG 14 are time-bound targets for all nations to strive for.
(SUMMARY) Accelerated technological convergence and dedicated information sharing mechanisms have made satellite technology an indispensable asset to developing countries. Far from being a luxury, earth observation missions spearheaded by various space agencies have demonstrated immediate benefits for populations most vulnerable to natural disasters. Authors: Jean Lévy, Niki Sajjad