"Every day" technologies such as weather forecasting, remote sensing, GPS systems, satellite television, and some long distance communications systems critically rely on space infrastructure. Of sciences, astronomy and Earth sciences (via remote sensing) most notably benefit from space technology.
Computers and telemetry were once leading edge technologies that might have been considered "space technology" because of their criticality to boosters and spacecraft. They existed prior to the Space Race of the Cold War (between the USSR and the USA.) but their development was vastly accelerated to meet the needs of the two major superpowers' space programs. While still used today in spacecraft and missiles, the more prosaic applications such as remote monitoring (via telemetry) of patients, water plants, highway conditions, etc. and the widespread use of computers far surpasses their space applications in quantity and variety of application.
Space is such an alien environment that attempting to work in it requires new techniques and knowledge. New technologies originating with or accelerated by space-related endeavors are often subsequently exploited in other economic activities. This has been widely pointed to as beneficial by space advocates and enthusiasts[who?] favoring the investment of public funds in space activities and programs. Political opponents[who?] counter that it would be far cheaper to develop specific technologies directly if they are beneficial and scoff at this justification for public expenditures on space-related research.
Specific space technology
- Ablative heat shield
- Aerobot (Planetary probe suspended in atmosphere)
- Atmospheric braking
- Booster (see also ICBM)
- Human staffed missions
- Rocket sled
- Lunar Rover
- Mars Rover
- Reusable launch system—the Space Shuttle and X-37 are partially reusable spaceplanes; SpaceX is currently developing a set of reusable technologies to support booster reuse and second-stage reuse.
Future space technologies
- Asteroid mining
- Single stage to orbit
- Solar power satellite
- Non-rocket spacelaunch
- Space manufacturing
- Centennial Challenges NASA prize contests
- Exploration of Mars
- Human spaceflight
- Space exploration
- Space architecture
- Space colonization
- Space industry
- Space industry of Russia
- Timeline of artificial satellites and space probes
- Space Technology (illustrated ed.). Black Rabbit Books. 2006. p. 32. ISBN 1-58340-795-2, 9781583407950 Check
- Lindsey, Clark (2013-04-29). "SpaceX moving quickly towards fly-back first stage". NewSpace Watch. Retrieved 2013-03-29.
- Race2Space.org - Advancing the Privatization of Space Travel 2006, Race2Space, in partnership with the X Prize foundation, is seeking sponsorship in order to support the privatization of space travel, research, and exploration for the upcoming Lunar Landing Challenge Contestants October 2006."
- Space Shuttle - News and features about NASA research, aimed at the general public. Includes sections on astronomy, space science, beyond rocketry, living in space