Experts eye promising future of space economy

Updated: 2012-09-14 17:00


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TIANJIN -- Human activities have largely relied on space technology, experts said at the 2012 Summer Davos Forum in North China's port city of Tianjin.

During a session themed "Creating the Future Space Economy" at the three-day forum, which closed on Thursday, experts and scientists explained their attitude towards the exploration of the space economy despite some concerns.

The space economy is a range of activities and use of resources that create and provide value and benefits to human beings in the course of exploring, understanding and utilizing space.

"Weather forecasting, air traffic control, mobile communications and disaster management are mainly supported by satellite technology," said Li Juqian, professor at the International Law School of China University of Political Science and Law. He suggested that outer space is closely related to our daily life.

Li, also a member of the Global Agenda Council on Space Security, pointed out that outer space activities had risks and had caused side effects, including space trash.

However, such activities could bring about vital knowledge for humankind, said Giovanna Tinetti, a scientist with the Royal Society URF of University College London. She said that studies on Venus could help combat against climate change.

What happened to Venus might happen to our Earth in the future, therefore we should analyze it and avoid such a future, said Tinetti.

She also highlighted space programs' contribution in leading science and technology research, which had created jobs.

Archaeologists have taken advantage of satellite-positioning technology to trace ancient trails, according to French astronomer and explorer Merieme Chadid.

Also, space exploration could bring vast opportunities for the private sector, such as private space travel, according to Marietta DiChristina, editor-in-chief of Scientific American.

However, experts expressed their concerns over exploration of the space economy.

They raised some practical questions, such as how to restrict exploration for military purposes and how to avoid illegal grabs of space resources, while urging formulation of international conventions or laws to regulate growing activities in space.

"It is definitely worth investing in the space economy as space technology can help a state enhance its national power and help people cope with a crisis," said Tinetti while stressing the cooperation of different countries.