Space occupies many countries and cities. Space technology in particular plays a central role in making the future of space travel possible. From current trends to early signs of change, many factors will encourage the journey to the stars. But what is the state of space technology today and what can we learn for our innovation landscape?

In a interview with the World Economic Forum, George Whitesides, Chief Executive Officer at Virgin Galactic and Co-Chairman of the Global Future Council on Space Technologies, reported on current breakthroughs in space technology and the impact these trends will have on our future.

Whitesides said it is particularly impressive that space technology is bringing about a rate of innovation that has not been seen for a long time. More and more companies are investing in research in this area and changing the way they view the status quo in light of the demands of space travel. As the IKEA example a few weeks ago already showed, considerations in the field of space will also have an impact on our presence on Earth.

Miniaturization in particular plays an enormous role. In space research, for example, it is used in the development of new satellites, as more and more technology is being packed into ever smaller envelopes – and in an extremely cost-efficient manner.

This is just one of many areas. Compact product development, climate research, energy supply and many other topics play an important role in the colonization of space and are also applied to the challenges facing our planet.

So dreaming of the stars has a lot to do with the development of new and groundbreaking products and processes, as the current examples of the innovation and research landscape show. Whether it is a radical innovation or a developmental innovation, they can all be kicked off by simply imagining what would happen if we had to completely rethink what we know, for example because we are travelling to a foreign planet. This is a concept of innovation that I would like to elaborate on in the coming weeks.

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