Space industry typically refers to economic activities related to manufacturing devices, components and instruments that are launched into space. It comprises of big corporations like Space X, Blue Origin, Astrobotic, Airbus, Virgin Galactic etc. According to a report published by world’s leading bank and financial services company Morgan Stanley in 2019, space industry is estimated to be around $350 billion and is expected to be a trillion dollar industry by 2040. This blog is not about space industry economy. The purpose of this post is to highlight the contribution that leading aerospace corporations are doing to control the ongoing pandemic situation the whole world is going through i.e. corona virus which is turning into worst nightmare for survival of human race even worse than two world wars the human race has witnessed in past.
Many CEO’s of space companies have come forward to contribute towards combating this disease. One of exemplary contribution by Space X founder Mr. Elon Musk who in March, 2020 pledged to manufacture and deliver 1200 ventilators to those countries who are facing shortage of medical facilities and donated 50000 N95 masks to hospitals in USA.
Blue Origin’s CEO Jeff Bezos has also pledged $20 million contribution to World Health Organisation through Amazon Web Services (AWS) for development of new tools that can detect and diagnose COVID19. Similarly, Richard Branson who is the founder and CEO of space company Virgin Galactic has announced on Monday that it has developed “bridge” ventilator. A machine used primarily on recovering patients those who have mild symptoms of corona virus. However its approval is pending before FDA and in the past has donated hundreds of N95 masks and surgical gloves to several USA states (source- http://www.observer.com).
Not only private players are doing their part to make sure this situation comes under control rapidly, even space organizations all over the world are also contributing immensely. NASA of USA and European Space Agency are considering to fund research proposals related to the corona virus pandemic and to help provide relief services. ESA is seeking proposals for a project called Space in response to COVID-19 outbreak” in cooperation with Italy, the worst pandemic hit nation. Companies whose proposals will be accepted by ESA shall have access to 2.5 million euros in funding and free satellites capacity. NASA is seeking proposals to “making innovative use of NASA satellite data to address regional-to-global environmental, economic and societal impacts of COVID-19” (source- www.spacenews.com )
India’s space agency Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is designing ventilators that can be operated when power supply is cut-off and has manufactured 1200 litres of sanitizers and masks are being made by ISRO’s employees society.
Contribution however big or small by space companies will not only prove beneficial in this hour of need but will also result in new innovative discoveries and devices made by them and space startup will certainly going to save human lives which is the ultimate aim of the whole world right now.