Is it in the light of earthly problems such as climate change and biodiversity loss will not be irresponsible billion for the conquest of the universe to spend?
Only at first glance. 50 years ago the big challenge was to send people to the moon. To colonize Mars, will be in the future, a similar major challenge. The moon shot of our Generation is, in fact, tackling the climate crisis. If mankind is now preparing to become an interplanetary species, then this has to do seemingly little to do with the earthly problems (read here, why the interest in the manned space is growing again). But appearances can be deceiving. To conquer the space, we need to invest a lot in research and technology. And these investments often have a large and direct Benefits for applications down here on earth.
We could spend our money directly to innovations with which we tackle the problems on the earth, without a detour via Mars.
This is a false dichotomy: either the money for the space or for the earth. Rather, there is a double benefit: We invest in science and technology for space applications and can take advantage of the developments on earth. Often space helps us in the world, even to solve problems in a different way. We are faced with many limitations, with extremely low temperatures, vacuum and zero gravity. It is a big challenge to develop things for this extreme environment. But if we succeed, we can think about how these technologies are on the earth to help.
but We have no guarantee that the investments in space pay off.
If we invest today in space technology, then I can't say, of course, what comes out of it.
"the space helps us to solve problems in a different
Often it needs a long breath until we can harvest the fruits.
Exactly. But there are many examples of where these investments have paid off. Think of the GPS satellite navigation system. Today, ten minutes pass, barely, without that we can access with the phone in any Form on the GPS back. Another example, life support systems in space. Today, millions benefit people on earth every day from the water filter technology, we have developed for the International space station. Or think of satellites for earth observation. They provide data to the temperature of the atmosphere, to the concentration of greenhouse gases, to the decline of the ice sheets, and much more. With this space technology, we continuously monitor the vital parameters of the earth. They help us to understand the space-ship earth, and in particular climate change.
must, However, be it because of space technology in which we invest?
no, it can also be ocean research or the development of new energy systems. It generally applies to the investment in science and technology that we benefit from the resulting knowledge and technologies.
Okay, but what does, for example, the decades of earth's citizens long exploration of Mars to us?
For the Mars missions, the autonomy of robots was an important aspect. Mars is so far away that a non-Autonomous Rover makes little sense. Everything we could under the harsh conditions of Mars in terms of autonomy demonstrate, has also helped the robotics industry on earth. Today, autonomy is in cars and transport systems a big topic. The space robotics has paved the way.
you study in your research, in particular, with the development of a future space suit-the Biosuit. We can benefit on earth also?
Yes, definitely. Half of my students are in the field of space research, the other half working in the biomedical field. Our new space suit can help people who have problems with the movement apparatus, such as older people. The Biosuit works like a soft exoskeleton. He is full of smart, functional fibers and Sensors that measure human movement. When measuring with the Sensors, we are already very good. The more difficult part is the active support of the motion, with a soft suit. The focus of our current research is.
"There is a Parallel between the closed Life-support systems in space and life on an island."
In her lecture in Basel, you have mentioned that she and her husband had sailed for one and a half years around the world, and something Important would be learned.
We have visited with the boat 33 island States. Including some large Islands, such as Australia, but also many small Islands, such as Vanuatu in the South Pacific. On the trip we met many indigenous peoples for tens of thousands of years in Balance with the sea, the landscape and the creatures on your island. If these islanders do not live sustainably, is their culture. This insight is not new, of course, but we have discovered quasi-new to us. These indigenous cultures are so smart to manage your habitat in a sustainable manner. We city people do not experience the blessing of biodiversity and unspoiled nature directly. But we need to think about this ancient philosophy and life wisdom: How can we live in balance with nature?
But these indigenous peoples can serve as a model for our Western consumer society.
of Course, these cultures are very unmaterial way. We are, however, very materialistic, especially in the developed countries. But we must ask ourselves where this leads. We can change our life style?
And, can we?
I think the answer is Yes. We may be less oriented towards material consumption and still be happy.
But the space, on the scope of their research to come back, is a very material intense pleasure.
the world of space travel teaches us something about sustainability. We develop a life-support system as a closed circuit. In space, all liquids must be recycled. So there is a Parallel between the closed life-support systems in space and life on an island. The Whole thing is, of course, we can aspire to on earth a full circular economy, in which everything is recycled, instead of a lot of Input and at the end of a lot of waste, as is often the case today.
How do you want to win companies for the sustainable circular economy?
This is a crucial question. There are 350 million small and medium-sized enterprises in the world, they make up 98 percent of all businesses. If these SMEs to move in the direction of sustainability, it can make a huge difference. Next year, we want to move a Million SMEs to economies in a sustainable way. We want to show these companies how sustainability can make in your business is economically sensible. In the long term, this bill can rise if consumers and the industry go Hand-in-Hand: If the consumers demand more sustainable products, it makes the commercial sense, to produce more sustainable.
do you Think that the mankind creates the shift in the direction of sustainability?
Yes, I think that humanity can create. We can do it. The crucial question is, whether we succeed fast enough. Therefore, we need to lead the debate on the urgency of climate - and environment-intensive. If someone in the family is seriously ill, then we show empathy and do all we can to help this Person. When the earth is sick, seems to us the empathy and the passion to be lacking, to address the Problem with appropriate urgency. So, how can we bring the knowledge of the urgency of the people? This is the big challenge.
one Often hears the Argument: I, as an individual or we as a small Nation, like Switzerland, we can't save the world, eh, that's the point.
Clearly, I'm just an individual. But everyone can do in his everyday life, something, to use public transportation, vegetarian feed, for example. If millions of people and ultimately billions of people play their part, then that can have a tremendous, positive effect.
Created: 14.11.2019, 17:34 PM