The Race to Space & The Future of the Aerospace Industry
Mil-Spec is a popular hook-up wiring designation and a popular application for these products is within aircraft and now more than ever space equipment. With the race to space underway between some of the world's tech giants, we'll begin to see new space discoveries and more advanced technologies emerge over the next decade. With space quickly becoming more accessible for entertainment and commercial purposes, the future of space and its potential applications is quickly evolving.
Well Known Space Race Players
Elon Musk - Space X
Jeff Bezos - Blue Origin
Richard Branson - Virgin Galactic
- SpaceX, which was founded in 2002, was developed with the goal of creating a Mars Oasis. A project to land a miniature experimental greenhouse and grow plants on Mars. With a goal of bringing man farther than ever travelled before, while Bezo and Branson's organizations are currently capitalizing on the experience of going to space.
- Jeff Bezos founded Blue Origin in September 2000 with the goal of making space travel cheap, frequent, and more accessible through reusable launch systems.
- To be the spaceline for Earth – Virgin Galactic focuses on using space for good, while delivering an unparalleled customer experience. Through our work, we believe we can help inspire future generations and make it possible to see our beautiful home planet from a new perspective.
The Commercial Space Race
The space race for a long time involved the main cold war participants, the United States and Russia. The race was never declared an actual race, but with a large amount of media coverage during that time and with both countries chasing the same goals, the race narrative consistently began to emerge.
Now being in the 21st century, we're beginning to see a similar race with different players. Unlike the previous race to space, this race isn't exactly a race. Each of the individuals above have a different goal for their organization, but with all three chasing government approvals, the race for government funding and contracts is starting to pick up. Just last week, Bezos offered NASA $2 billion in exchange for a moon mission contract.
Wire & Cable Space Applications
Different applications have begun to emerge as long-term space travel plans are set in motion. One that has caught the attention of many major space manufacturing organizations is for the 2024 mission back to the moon. This mission was named after Apollo's sister in the greek mythology, NASA's Artemis programme, which aimed to return crews to the moon with partnerships with private sector organizations. "The international consortium led by US tech specialist Dynetics is one of the teams that are competing in the initial design and development phase of Artemis's Human Landing System. The landing vehicle will enable astronauts to travel to the lunar surface, live and operate on the ground for up to one week and then return to the moon's orbit" (Thalesgroup). This landing system is just one of the first projects that will be utilized in space, while the missions to Mars and beyond have left the door open to larger, more complex missions and applications.
Space applications are one of the most challenging and complex. With these applications, reliability becomes essential. With limited access to additional resources and extreme environments, minor errors can quickly turn into catastrophic failures. This was the basis for the Apollo 13 Movie, as a small issue with the oxygen valves quickly turned into a life and death situation. These crucial applications require a unique mil-spec approval known as the Qualified Product Listing (QPL), which dictates if a product, electrical or otherwise, has the capabilities to survive in a highly demanding application environment.
Aerospace Wire & Cable!
Role of QPL (Qualified Product Listing)
QPL is one of the less known approvals in electrical industries as it's typically only required for military, aerospace and space applications, while traditional north American standards require the standard UL, CSA and the European CE if the finished product is going to Europe.
Why have a Qualification Program?
The fundamental advantage of qualification is that it improves the availability of products and shortens the procurement process by completing long or highly complex evaluations and tests of manufacturers and their products prior to awarding a contract. The qualification program improves readiness by ensuring the availability of products with requisite quality, reliability, performance, and safety from trusted manufacturing and distributing organizations. The qualification also helps reduce costs by eliminating repetitive surveillance audits and tests.
In 2016 the United States had elected Donald J. Trump into office as the 45th president. Following his inauguration, President Trump announced that the United States would be launching the 6th and newest branch of the military, Space Force. This new department of the military is a civilian-led Department of the Air Force, which also manages the United States Air Force. This new body was developed to help protect NATO and its allies, specifically their satellites, as they would be the first target if a new 21st-century conflict were to begin.
With this new addition to America's various defense programs, outer space is becoming increasingly accessible for commercial, industrial, and even defense markets. Two years later, three of the most powerful businessmen in the world are competitively facing off to reach space, and the most definitive winner could receive enormous government contracts. These contracts include applications like the Artemis Human Landing System, reliable long-range communication, spacecraft, and other landing craft technologies.
Space and aerospace are difficult industries for any organization, and with some of the world's most motivated individuals pursuing upcoming space missions at an increasing rate, the future of the aerospace industry's capabilities will continue to grow. With new missions set for all of the 2020s, reliable electronics and equipment will be the first major requirement before anything can be made possible. Hundreds of different mil-spec wire and cable products will be required in order to make these space and aerospace applications a reality. Sycor has supplied hundreds of different mil-spec constructions in the past. With a wide variety of suppliers all across North American and Europe, our team has the capabilities to make your space application a reality.
For more information on Sycor's different services and capabilities, give one of our sourcing specialists a call.
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