Space science helps on Earth

Nasa scientist addresses large crowd at NMMU

SPACE exploration and the impact it has on Earth was the main theme of a lunchtime lecture hosted at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University yesterday.

Addressing a packed lecture hall on NMMU’s north campus, US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) deputy chief technologist W James Adams discussed how space exploration, and the money spent on it, was providing real benefits to those with their feet firmly planted on Earth.

“Investing in planetary exploration will help better life on Earth,” he said at the beginning of his hour-long talk.

“Money spent on Earth stays on Earth but the technology developed stretches far beyond that.”

Adams says the cost of space exploration is in the region of $380-billion (R4.6-trillion) a year and is fundamental in developing new technology in the field of planetary science studies and aeronautic education.

But this technology also had tremendous benefits for everyday applications, he said.

From smartphones developed to help those who struggle to fall asleep to welding screen shields now used in sunglasses, Adams explained how the technology was making a difference.

-Devon Koen

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