Chosen as one of the last 10 years' achievement, the increasing recognition of Space as something good for society and the economy and left several examples. In an interview with SAPO TEK about the best of the decade 2010-2019, Chiara Manfletti, president of the Portuguese Space Agency – Space Portugal, highlighted the Rosetta mission, the Japanese Hayabusa missions, the significant advances in the science of exoplanets or the arrival on the hidden side of Moon.
The list of examples continued with big names like Kepler, Quops, Curiosity, ExoMars, Voyager, Copernicus or Galileo and ended up pointing to the future, mentioning the Space Safety program, just to mention one example, because the list is huge.
We will find incredible new things. Espao continues to fascinate us
In the midst of all this, Chiara Manfletti also revealed that she does not agree with all space exploration policies, but believes that the agencies' options are always in the sense of increasing the reach of humanity and not as an attempt to colonize other worlds in alternative Earth " doomed ". Even because it believes that Space can help the planet in many ways.
SAPO TEK: What do you think of the policies or strategies that the various space agencies have followed? How do you see the attempt to colonize other worlds as an alternative to a doomed Earth? Chiara Manfletti: In terms of strategies and policies, I focus more on the benefits of Space for society and on the total integration of the space sector in the economy, I think this is something that we see more often and a very positive progress. Obviously, there are also certain policies that are more complicated and that not all countries share, some are more aggressive than others … As a citizen of this world, I do not agree with all. Portugal has a space agency because the Space sector is not yet fully developed. That is why we need a dedicated set of people who act as a "business development unit" for the space sector as a whole, to promote it and boost it as an ecosystem, both at home and abroad, in partnership with other nations. Regarding the attempt to colonize other worlds as an alternative to a condemned Earth ", I know that sometimes it is said, but I do not think that the agencies pursue it as an objective. I think, yes, that they do it in the attempt to increase the reach of humanity. Of course, things are heard, but I don?t think it?s a good option, I don?t think you should colonize other worlds because we did a bad job on Earth.
THETwo things have to go hand in hand: the sustainability of our planet and the exploration of new destinations
SAPO TEK: Can Space Really Help Save the Earth? Chiara Manfletti: Absolutely. On the one hand, we can, without a doubt, have activities that monitor the climate: there are 50 essential climatic variables and 26 of them can only be tracked, entirely, from Space, therefore a positive contribution. More than just monitoring, we can have activities more focused on prevention and prevention. For example, the prediction of natural disasters so that we can save human lives, as when we know that a volcanic eruption is about to happen. Or the prediction of an earthquake. I think that very well developed data and information give decision makers and society stronger tools to decide how to best interact with planet Earth and with each other. Of course, the technology developed through activities and space missions has also equipped humanity to better interact with the environment around us. One example I like to use is the camera that was designed to recognize the different shades of gray of Comet 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko and that is now used for the early detection of forest fires.
SAPO TEK: What about space tourism? Will it be a reality? Chiara Manfletti: Yes, I definitely think it will happen. I'm not sure when, but it will happen. I do not believe that humanity has lost curiosity and the desire to move forward. I also think it's a good thing if that happens. I also believe that "smart" tourism is something that gives people new perspectives.
Have a vision of how the fragile Earth of space, without a doubt, is a positive experience for everyone