The social benefits of engineering technologies are often confined to the branches like computer science or civil or mechanical. The general public has a negative perspective of the aerospace industry being frivolous. Let’s change that!
The aerospace industry ranks among the world’s largest manufacturing industries in terms of people employed and the value of output. Yet even beyond its sheer size, the aerospace industry was one of the defining industries of the twentieth century. As a socio-political phenomenon, aerospace has inflamed the imaginations of youth around the world and inspired new schools of industrial design.
The United Nations has developed the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in order to address societal challenges in the form of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The potential for aerospace technologies in supporting the SDGs is quite huge.
Aerospace technologies support climate research by monitoring climate data and providing applications. Facilitating space-based event attribution studies has helped in the creation of warning systems for natural disasters. During an investigation for the planet, Venus researchers were alerted of an environmental threat that provoked them to search for an ozone opening here on Earth. For a sustainable and inclusive digital society, aerospace has provided earth-based observation and satellite communication networks. Satellites support numerous vital services on Earth - weather forecast, navigation, and communication. Satellite communications contribute to every Sustainable Development Goal, either directly or indirectly.
With the development of a huge amount of aerospace technologies, the need for ensuring space sustainability has massively increased. To ensure that the UN SDGs are met ethically, the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS) has approved 21 space sustainability guidelines for long-term space operations. The main goal of the United Nations’ UNCOPUOS is to foster international cooperation for peaceful uses of outer space. This helps us establish that aerospace technologies help prevent misunderstanding and conflict.
As an economic phenomenon, aerospace has consumed a major amount of research and development funds across many fields and subsidised innovation in a vast array of component technologies. It has evoked new forms of production, spurred the construction of enormous manufacturing complexes, inspired technology-sensitive managerial techniques, and supported dependent regional economies.
Aerospace technology enables global industries, new tech, science, health and safety, international telework, and distance learning. If you’re interested in learning more about what aerospace can do for each of the 17 SDGs, please visit the website United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs website!