Revolutionary Space Technologies and Innovations

Let's explore some mind-blowing revolutionary space technology and innovations!


Just 62 miles above our heads, Earth’s atmosphere ends, and outer space begins. When you think about it, it’s really not that far! But as close as it is, we’ve only started to explore it in the last sixty years thanks to some revolutionary technological developments!

But how exactly do we take pictures of galaxies more than 146 quadrillion miles away? How do we plan to live on Mars? And will we soon be able to take weekend trips among the stars? Let's discover some game-changing space tech and future innovations!

Astrobee Robots

Out in space, menial tasks can take up a lot of time, which is why NASA has invented the perfect human helper that can also work in zero gravity: Astrobees!

These 12.5-inch-wide, 22 lb cube bots assist astronauts in space with tasks, such as transporting cargo, documenting experiments, and finding lost items! They can even identify when something’s wrong, like a carbon dioxide leak, and let the whole crew know before a disaster unfolds!


Each Astrobee uses electric fans to fly through the air in microgravity, using cameras and sensors to help them navigate their way without bumping into anything. Their design also includes perching arms to grasp and carry objects!

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Currently, each one is controlled manually, but scientists are working on making them autonomous, so that stations can soon be left entirely under the care of robots! And that day might not be too far away.

As of April 2022, the aptly named Bumble, Honey and Queen bee bots have completed over one hundred activities and are beginning to take on more complicated tasks. Bumble, for example, has managed to create 3D maps of the space station’s interior on its own, which has huge implications for autonomous robotic mapping missions into deep space in the future!


Once Astrobees are capable of monitoring and keeping systems operating smoothly without a crew, spacecraft will be able to undertake deep space missions for much longer! So soon, these little robots will be essential for missions like returning to the moon or heading to Mars!

Hubble Telescope

Chances are you’ve seen some mind-blowing pictures of the galaxies like the one below.


As out of this world as this is, it's not photoshopped! Photos like these were all taken by The Hubble Telescope, a huge telescope currently in space that’s as long as a school bus, and weighs as much as two adult elephants!

So far, this incredible telescope has captured images of galaxies 13.4 billion light years away; that’s more than 78 sextillion miles! But how does it see that far? Well, the Hubble relies on the use of two massive mirrors, a hyperbolic primary mirror that’s 7.8 ft in diameter, and a secondary mirror only 12 inches in diameter.


When light enters the telescope it bounces off the primary mirror and onto the secondary mirror, allowing it to focus and capture 40,000 times more light than the human eye! And if you thought that was impressive, it captured these images while traveling around Earth at about five miles per second! Why then, aren’t these pictures blurry?

Hubble’s trusty sensors help to control the telescope’s pointing while it moves, and lock onto an object at this speed so it can take crystal clear images of space! And it’s thanks to these revolutionary images that scientists can now estimate the size and age of the universe, with it being some 14 billion years old!

However, Hubble was launched into orbit more than 32 years ago, making it something of a space tech dinosaur. And since then, scientists have been developing something even bigger and better.

James Webb Telescope

While Hubble helped scientists understand the scale of the universe, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope was launched in 2021 to help scientists uncover the origins of the universe! Taking on Hubble’s legacy with 100 times the power, the Webb can take pictures in less than a day, while Hubble needs weeks of exposure to gather enough light for viable images.

And how does it manage this? With a primary mirror that is nearly triple the size of the Hubble’s at 21 ft in diameter! This is made up of 18 hexagonal, beryllium segments, which are all aligned to 1/10,000th the thickness of a human hair so that they collectively focus the light perfectly onto the secondary mirror and into the camera.

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That’s an insane level of accuracy, one so precise that engineers and scientists had to invent a way to make it viable! All this size gives it a scope 15 times larger than that of the Hubble’s camera, making it so perceptive that it can detect a single bumblebee on Earth from as far away as the moon!

With this power, the Webb has detected some of the earliest galaxies ever seen, which existed just 200 million years after the Big Bang! While we all love the Hubble's pictures, we can't deny the spectacular improvement brought by the Webb, ase seen in the image below.


Space Hotels

Have you ever dreamt of traveling to space and holidaying among the stars? You could be living this reality very soon! The first commercial space hotel, The Voyager Station, aims to open by 2027, and will be able to host up to 280 guests and 112 crew members! This revolutionary space station design would have a docking hub at it’s center, with space elevators to take you to your room.

Life boats containing 44 return vehicles would be attached to the outer shell of the hotel like a giant, intergalactic Ferris wheel; special ports would allow suited-up patrons to sit on the very rim of the wheel, and live views from Earth and space would play on the walls while you eat freeze-dried ice cream at the restaurant!

©Orbital Assembly

The Station hopes to simulate a mere sixth of Earth’s gravity, so that visitors don’t get dizzy floating about the place. This simulated gravity would work by rotating the main wheel of the structure, generating a steady but light g-force just powerful enough to keep everything upright.

The hotel is also considering basketball courts, where visitors can experience weightlessness and jump as high as the hoops. The extraordinary project also advertises other amenities, housing a cinema, concert venues, a health spa, and gyms for entertainment.


Obviously, all this won’t be cheap to build or launch, with estimates coming in at tens of billions of dollars currently! And while costs haven’t been published yet, it’s estimated that a round trip covering physical training before boarding, and a 3 ½ day trip aboard the space station itself, would be somewhere in the region of $5 million!

Laser Internet Network

Don’t you hate it when you're streaming a TV show, you click play and nothing happens; it keeps struggling to load, loses connection, and then drops out completely? Wouldn't it be great to have an internet connection wherever you go, whether you were up a mountain or out at sea?

Mynaric is trying to make that dream a reality. This tech would revolutionize the way we acquire internet and broadband, by using lasers! And don’t worry, they’re not the kind that blows stuff up! These infrared lasers can be used in space to beam down stable and fast connections.


Currently, we rely on fiber optic cables to increase network capacity and keep all new devices data-connected. This allows radio frequency bands to connect devices, providing internet access in the form of 1,2,3,4 and 5g! But if your infrastructure doesn’t have access to these cables, like in remote areas, then it’s back to DVD’s for you!

However, laser communication can transmit large amounts of data wirelessly and over great distances. It’s already used to connect planes, drones, and satellites! And now Mynaric is expanding that to deliver internet via satellites to anywhere on earth.

In 2011, a successful laser connection was made between an airplane and the ground for the first time, overcoming great distances and speeds! These information laden lasers are so precise they can detect a coin falling out of your pocket from half a mile away!

Currently, only seventy percent of information sent through space from structures like space stations and satellites makes it back to Earth due to interference. But with laser broadband, we’d be able to transmit huge amounts of data precisely, giving us more accurate data about things like weather patterns and greenhouse gasses.


And on top of that, laser communication is over 320 times faster than traditional radio frequency communication! To put that into perspective, it would only take 3.2 seconds to stream an entire HD quality movie using laser communication! The only thing buffering now is my brain trying to comprehend this!

The International Space Station

The International Space Station is a ground-breaking operation that has truly revolutionized our knowledge of space, and not just space, but living in it. Astronauts all work, sleep and play on Earth’s 462-ton laboratory, the biggest object ever to be flown up into space!


No rocket or craft was big enough to transport it whole, so the station was taken into space piece-by-piece and gradually built in orbit, approximately 250 miles above Earth's surface. This assembly required more than forty missions, and it’s bigger than an entire American football field!

To top it off, one segment houses a remote-controlled space crane, essentially, a robotic arm, that can move equipment around and even capture other spacecraft for docking and boarding!


Though all this space age tech didn’t come cheap, costing around $150 billion all up! So, what was all that money for? Well, experiments conducted at the ISS are dedicated to learning how the human body works when in space, and how it affects our biology.

This technology includes developing vaccines for bone and joint health due to changes in gravity, experiments to help visual impairment issues from radiation, and even crystallizing human proteins to discover more about potential diseases!

These are all essential discoveries we must understand if we’re ever going to live outside Earth’s orbit! So, who knows, thanks to the ISS’s innovative research, soon we might all be living among the stars!


No matter what you think of Elon Musk, aka, the world’s richest man and undeniable Twitter addict, his company SpaceX is one of the most innovative space tech companies on earth.

Their main ambition is to take humans all the way to the moon and mars in record time! And to achieve this, Space X have already built plenty of prototype spaceships, but it’s their Starship that’s ultimately being designed to travel to Mars in under six months.


That’s pretty impressive when you consider Mars is, on average, 140 million miles away from Earth, meaning it’ll need to travel around 32,000 miles an hour to get there in 6 months! That doesn’t sound feasible, but at a gigantic 394ft tall, this rocket aims to be the biggest and most powerful ever made by mankind.

It’s specifically designed to carry both crew and cargo on long-duration interplanetary flights. What’s more, the Starship is aiming to be the very first fully reusable launch vehicle, able to withstand atmospheric burn up and land itself upright ready to re-launch!

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When a rocket enters an atmosphere at high speed, often at some 4 miles per second, particles in the atmosphere compress quickly around the craft, causing friction and raising the air temperature as high as 3000°F. That’s hotter than volcanic lava!

Space X plans on preventing this heat from breaking down the Starship by installing heatshield hex tiles. The hexagonal shape of these specialized ceramic plates means there’s no straight path for hot gas to accelerate through the gaps, protecting the craft itself from erosion.

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This should help ensure that the Starship will be ready to fly immediately after landing, no fixes or refurbishment required! Further to this, to land, the Starship executes a complicated ‘landing flip maneuver’ where two of the rocket’s three raptor engines reignite and reorient the rocket vertically ahead of a soft touchdown.

That’s impressive, but only half as impressive as what they managed with their Falcon 9 launch, where they landed the craft at sea. This sort of precision is the future of reusable space transport!

But for all Falcon 9’s and Starship’s impressiveness, it’s SpaceX’s Dragon that leads the pack, being the only private spacecraft that has taken humans to the International Space Station more than 30 times so far. Compared to the Apollo rockets, which only completed 17 missions from 1961 to 1972, that is one big step for Elon. And a giant leap for Elon kind!

The Genesis System

If we did achieve interplanetary colonization, or find ourselves staying on a space station indefinitely, then what would we eat? Freeze dried rations would only last for so long, and we haven’t found plants growing on any planet we’ve explored so far.

So, it’s taken some ingenious and complicated science to figure out a solution, which has led to the birth of Genesis, a conceptual ecological life support system that can grow food independently from Earth!


Bart Womack, CEO of Eden Grow Systems, laid the foundations of this technology back in the 1970’s by recycling human waste into food and oxygen for astronauts on missions. Genesis is developing this idea by using energy from sunlight, wind, and biogas in an enclosed habitat that can provide comfort for a family of four!

So far, Eden Grow Systems has designed six-foot tall towers which can grow crops and breed fish using hydroponic and aquaponic methods. They can do this by growing plants in nutrient rich liquids to replace soil, and along with some water and LED lights to support the plant’s photosynthesis, edible foods are harvested!


By perfecting this environment, the systems also maximize the nutritional value of the crop while using as little energy as possible. Womack also hopes that Genesis could be used for remote outposts on Earth too, including areas subject to disaster and famine! Let’s hope these crops taste as good as the technology behind them.

Sierra Inflatable Life Habitat

When you think about what human habitats in space look like, most of us imagine cylindrical metal tubes and cramped spaces. We don’t imagine a big, white, beach-ball looking thing, and yet, that’s exactly what the Sierra Life habitat is serving!

It’s a large, inflatable structure designed as a human habitation module in the vacuum of space. This could make interplanetary living a lot simpler logistically, as it’s designed to expand after it's gone into orbit, making it easier to launch and transport than something that requires construction.


From afar it may look like a giant ball of wool, but it’s actually deceptively strong. Sierra’s outer shell is made of a tightly woven fabric called Vectran; a multifilament yarn spun from liquid crystal polymer which is a staggering five times stronger than steel!

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This test allows the pressure inside the habitat to exceed its maximum volume to check its safety and stability! The build-up of pressure inside finally tears the fabric at 192 psi, or pressure per square inch, which is more than 5 times the pressure used to inflate a car tire. So, the Sierra can definitely handle the pressure!

These experiments are vital to ensuring everything remains safe inside while in orbit. When fully operational, it’ll also possess the technology to recycle air and water, keeping our footprints green and eco-friendly in space.

Speaking of green, inside it'll also have its own Astro Garden, where everyone can grow food! Among its three floors, it'll contain science labs, robotic workstations, medical bays, kitchens and sleeping quarters to maintain a normal human lifestyle.

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Mission To Mars

Because Mars is relatively similar to Earth in terms of atmosphere and composition, the little red planet is often thought of as humanity’s future home; which is why space agencies have dedicated so much time and money to scoping it out.

One of the most important products of this effort is the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Launched in 2005, the Orbiter has been exploring the Martian atmosphere, surface and water for more than 17 years in the hopes of understanding more about the planet.


Its Climate Sounder technology, which was designed specifically for the Orbiter, uses infrared light to detect how the weather and seasons change on Mars. It’s been the first spacecraft to discover evidence of carbon dioxide snow falling from the Martian sky using this tech, and has many other advanced features to boot!

Its imaging spectrometer, which takes in light and converts it to digitized wavelengths, has managed to uncover material evidence of water on the planet’s surface! Using this spectrometer, the Orbiter can identify minerals in bodies of water as small as a swimming pool, while simultaneously covering the whole planet at a resolution of 650 ft.


This technology was the first to be used in a Mars mission, and the images it returned were 20 times sharper than the previous tech sent there. It’s still being put to good use, helping to find traces of life and ancient seas underneath the red planet’s surface.

And if that wasn’t impressive enough, the orbiter relies on the ground-breaking ‘Interplanetary Internet,’ an advanced telecommunication system which links back to Earth using significantly less power than other models! It’s tech like this that’ll provide a blueprint for the telecommunication capabilities of future Mars craft. One thing’s for sure, The Mars Orbiter flew so that future spacecraft could soar!

Space Based Solar Power

More and more, humans are finding increasingly innovative and inventive ways of using natural resources to create sustainable power. But there’s one project that’s looking for the ultimate sustainable energy solution in space: specifically, space based solar power!

This would be achieved by using giant satellite mirrors to reflect solar rays onto smaller solar collectors. This solar radiation would then be wirelessly beamed to Earth as either a microwave or a laser beam, creating a highway providing an unlimited source of solar energy!


These solar panels would produce 400 watts of electricity per square meter on Earth receivers, 2 to 3 times the amount received from normal solar panels! And because there’s no clouds, atmosphere or night-time in space, these highways would be able to harvest this solar radiation and beam it back to Earth 24/7!

But for this to work, the microwave transmitting satellites will need to be massive. The solar reflectors on their own are predicted to span nearly 2 miles in diameter, weighing in at over 80,000 metric tons. At this gargantuan size, each satellite would be capable of generating multiple gigawatts of power. That’d be enough to power a major U.S. city!

Multiple different designs for what these could look like have been proposed, with some designs sporting the panels on wings with the solar collector at its center, where others are arranged in massive conical structures that direct everything straight to earth like a funnel!


Regardless of the most efficient design, China’s pulling ahead in this sustainable space race. They’re expecting to launch a satellite by 2028 as a test, and are hoping to receive as much energy as a nuclear plant generates by 2050. The US Air Force intends to run their own tests by 2024, too!

Seems like space based solar panels are in high demand, especially since this power would decarbonize economies, keeping the price of energy at bay. Well, I’m in favor of any solution that works to keep my soaring energy bills down!

Life on Mars

David Bowie once famously asked: Is there life on Mars? Classic tune aside, it turns out that in the future, there could be. With advancing technologies now being created faster than ever, scientists have begun designing long-term homes with the ability to withstand the harsh environments of other planets.

NASA is currently ambitiously developing a large-scale 3D printer that can literally print out infrastructure, in the hopes of putting habitats on the moon or Mars by the end of the decade.


On Mars itself, the process would begin with testing Martian soil with various printing technologies; space agencies plan to send machines in advance of humans to harvest raw Martian materials and process them into forms that can be assembled into homes!

With our current understanding of the planet, these habitats would be made from a mixture of basalt fiber extracted from Martian rock and renewable bioplastic, processed from plants grown on the red planet. These non-toxic, recyclable materials outperformed concrete in NASA’s strength, durability, and crush testing, so we would have ultimate protection from the elements.

One particular design of building, called the Marsha, is built in a beacon shape, allowing it to contain multiple floors and rooms, while the egg-shape of the structure minimized environmental stresses at the smaller base and top.


Temperatures on Mars can reach a freezing -81°F, but the Marsha would utilize a dual shell design, isolating the interior chamber from Mars’ extreme temperature swings! And with plenty of room as well.

Space Elevator

Since space exploration began back in the 1960’s, rockets have been the only way to send people and objects up into space. But that’s about to change, with the development of the world’s first Space Elevators!

Extending from Earth’s surface to a staggering altitude of 62,000 miles, Space Elevators could extend almost a quarter of the way to the moon! Space agencies want to build motorized elevator pods that are powered up into space via one long tether.

Stretching up from a space port at the equator, the elevator would lead to a space station in orbit overhead, and the centrifugal forces of the Earth’s rotation and a series of counterbalances would keep the entire structure aloft!


The structure itself would need to be made of an ultra-dense, but ultralight material in order to make launching something of this size and scale into space feasible.

At the moment, hopes are pinned onto the development of carbon nanotubes, or graphene, which can be manufactured to a thickness 80,000 times thinner than a single human hair! While thin, the molecular honeycomb structure of this material makes it 200 times stronger than steel at a fraction of the weight. Perfect for constructing a would-be space elevator with!


However, it’s incredibly difficult to manufacture, meaning it can’t currently be used. But at a future date when it can be, estimates assume that the structure alone would cost a mind-blowing $10 billion to build.

But even at that outrageous price tag, NASA claims it would be less risky and cheaper to fund than a lot of pre-existing space programs! Specialized tracks would allow the pods to travel at speeds reaching thousands of miles-per-hour at a much lower cost than launching by spacecraft.

Researchers figured a 12,000kg space shuttle payload would cost no more than $17,700 for an elevator trip to orbit. A passenger with baggage at 150kg might cost only $222, so for the price of an airline ticket, you too could travel up the intergalactic tube to space!


It might seem like a future innovation we won’t be alive to witness, but both China and Japan have started pre-construction work on space elevators, claiming they’ll be complete as early as 2045! Suddenly, the future doesn’t seem so far away!

If you were amazed at these revolutionary space technologies and innovations, you might want to read this article about how far science has come! Thanks for reading!

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