By Peter Marcus, DENVER DAILY NEWS
The Colorado Springs-based Space Foundation says outer space may just be what solves the social and economic woes of developing nations.
In a report released last week, the foundation emphasizes the importance science and technology — particularly space technology — will have on many of the challenges facing developing nations.
“Developing nations will reap tremendous benefits by using space assets,” said Marty Hauser, vice president of the Space Foundation’s research and analysis Washington, D.C. office. “There is no need to further develop and implement applications that directly address the challenges faced by these countries. The developed world can cooperatively support building indigenous science and technology capacity to help achieve this goal.”
People in remote areas can be connected by communications satellites, which would assist in connecting those people with medical expertise and in connecting students and teachers with content, to name one example.
Remote sensing satellites can update officials about changes in land use, help them to provide natural disaster relief and in monitoring conflicts, to name another example. Officials would be able to quickly identify where aid is needed most, according to the report.
And in the area of economic growth, investments in space capabilities would spur progress in science and technology, which develops educated citizens and technology-smart governments, states the Space Foundation report.
“Investing in space activities can help developing nations take control of their futures,” reads a news release announcing the report.
The cost of such investments can be kept to a minimum for developing nations thanks to contributions by world organizations, adds the report. For example, a country that wants to invest in famine prediction maps would likely be assisted by organizations such as the United Nations.
Many nations are already increasing their investment in space programs, including India, Brazil and Nigeria.
“Commercial companies are involved as well,” said Hauser. “These activities are having an impact.”