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Improving our day-to-day lives

Developing everyday products

Engineers in the space sector develop new cutting-edge technologies to accomplish seemingly impossible goals, and those technologies are often turned into products we use every day on Earth.

For instance, did you know that the technology behind our tiny cell phone cameras was developed in an effort to miniaturize cameras for spacecraft?

Here are just a few spinoffs from space technology:

Using GPS technology

GPS technology used every day in cell phones, location services and apps comes from navigation satellites. When looking for the fastest route to your destination or checking traffic, you are actually using space technology.

Accurately forecasting the weather

Humans have been predicting the weather for hundreds of years, but satellites have revolutionized the science of forecasting, making it far more accurate than it used to be. Data gathered by weather satellites is also used to create images and animations.

Connecting people all over the world

Telecommunications is one of the most popular uses of satellites. Space allows us to connect with people from different parts of the world through satellite television, phones, radio and Internet access.

Helping farmers bring food to your plate

Agriculture plays an essential role in our daily lives and in Canada’s economy, with about 2.2 million Canadians working in the agriculture and agri-food industry.

By procuring accurate and up-to-date information on soil humidity, precipitation forecasts and crop conditions, satellites help farmers manage their crops and maximize their yields while tending to their vast fields in a more sustainable way.

Improving access to clean water

Sending materials to space is expensive, especially heavy items like water. Therefore, a water recovery system was developed to recycle and filter used water aboard the ISS – including water from laundry and urine! – to make it drinkable.

Growing food in harsh conditions

During long-duration missions farther into the solar system, astronauts will not be able to depend on food shipments from Earth. To prepare for this, research on how to grow food in space is being conducted on the ISS.

This research could also help with growing much-needed food in developing countries, remote locations like the North or harsh environments on Earth.

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