Astronautics, being the main product of world scientific and technological progress, has become a powerful engine of this progress itself, continuously transferring to other areas of the world economy an invaluable and unprecedented flow of new materials, technologies and scientific developments, making a significant contribution to ensuring the sustainable development of mankind. At the present stage, space activity and its scientific and industrial base have already become a naturally functioning branch of the global economy, subject to universal laws and development trends.
At the same time, the space sector of the global economy demonstrates dynamic and stable development, which is associated with the processes of a powerful transition of space technologies from the military to the civilian sphere. All this as a whole contributes to the commercialization of space and the rapid growth of the space industry, the development and sale of space products, technologies and services, which, in turn, gives a strong impetus to the strengthening of industry competition at different levels.
In turn, the world space market is a large and rapidly developing segment of the world’s high-tech market. One of the key engines of modern economic progress is innovative technologies in the field of microelectronics, digital and information systems, software, communications and telecommunications, new composite materials, etc. Most of these developments originate in various areas of the space industry and have a significant impact on the most diverse areas of modern life, providing advanced possibilities for ag monitoring, healthcare operations, finances, and numerous other spheres.
Even the global pandemic hasn’t stopped the progress in the space industry. Despite disruptions and economic headwinds, it not only stayed resilient to withstand it all but also made huge progress, successfully completing historic missions to Mars and the first commercial human spaceflight.
Of course, such successful development has resulted in the appearance of different space apps that allow different industries to easily touch upon the benefits space data has to offer. But before we move on to those apps, let’s briefly cover the main trends space tech experiences in 2021.
Space Technologies in 2021
Although the pandemic hasn’t posed a significant threat to space technologies development, it has led to better awareness regarding how space tech provides solutions to such critical and global issues like climate change monitoring and the spread of COVID-19 detection. Satellite data collection and analysis has enabled fast, precise, and remote tracking and management of these problems for their further mitigation.
In 2021, these possibilities will likely grow wider thanks to the commercialization of Low-Earth Orbit with the help of SpaceX innovations. Moreover, SpaceX and Rocket Labs are making rocket launches way cheaper and hence more available. On top of that, government support for space is also likely to get stronger, increasing the number of national space programs mostly targeted at using space data to tackle climate change.
Now, let’s move on to space apps designed for effective space data utilization.
LandViewer by EOSDA is a tool designed to provide access to satellite data and its fast-paced analytics. The platform enables satellite imagery browsing, analysis, and download, offering a catalog of Earth pictures from Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-1, Landsat 8 and previous missions, MODIS, NAIP, and CBERS-4. The users can easily browse for images of their area of interest, see free previews of found pictures, and download them for further analytics. The tool leverages different band combinations tailored to specific types of data for the extraction of only the necessary data from the imagery. Applying various combinations to the same area of interest, users receive more precise and accurate insights from a satellite image.
This app is ultimately a built-in planetarium in a mobile device. The user just holds the phone up, zooms in, and the app will determine the user’s position and locate the moon, stars, constellations, and planets, creating a sky map. The map updates dynamically when the user moves the phone around. The Star Rover catalog includes all constellations, over 120,000 stars, all planets and their moons, moon phases, and more objects in the Milky Way Galaxy.
NASA offers its official app to allow people interested in space to easily get all the insights through their device. The app provides news articles, videos, photos, tweets, and features from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Besides, users can stream live NASA TV, access an archive of thousands of images from NASA’s missions and other sources, and stay updated on the latest space news.
SkySafari enables its user to make a real journey across the galaxy right through their mobile phone. The app contains all the scientific knowledge of mankind about space, so using it is an easy way to find a huge number of interesting facts. The users just have to hold their device up to the sky to let the app assemble planets, stars, constellations, and other objects. The app can also animate different events like meteor showers, comet approaches, transits, and conjunctions.
Cosmic Watch is a three-in-one tool: 3D planetarium, AR celestial guide, and watch with great design and visuals. This app features a three-dimensional celestial sphere for the entire sky overview, planetarium with sky maps, constellations, astronomical events calculator, 3D interactive astronomical clock and world clock, notifications, different views of the solar system, representation of retrograde planets, digital compass, and much more.
Solar Walk app offers a 3D model of the Universe and a collection of educational materials about space, planets, and the Sun. Users who own 3D glasses can turn on the 3D mode and see how celestial objects become truly three-dimensional on the screen. Besides, the app allows changing the year, month, day, hour, and even minute to see how the Universe looked at different times of its existence.
Stellarium is a free, open-source, multilingual, virtual planetarium astronomy program.
The app provides three-dimensional photorealistic images of the sky, displays stars, constellations, and planets. The tool shows more than 120,000 stars and allows for observing solar eclipses and comets.