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The question of how spending on space research can be justified is one which often arises. This documentary explains how the development of technologies for use in the space industry often results in spin-offs which can be utilised on Earth.
After an introductory section covering the history of spaceflight, the work of ESTEC ( Infrared Space Observatory and European Remote Sensing Satellite 2) and the Spacelink Europe Project, the film gives the following examples of technology transfer:
-the development of sealant subsequent to the Challenger disaster, and its use in industrial plants;
-the manufacture of silica quilts for use in helicopter casing, originally designed to withstand heat on spacecraft re-entry;
-tetrahedral wedges use for robotic joining (on the forthcoming International Space Station), possible applications in the tools market;
-spin-offs of satellite communications, antennae used in mobile communications;
-biomedical applications - algal photosynthesis, tiny pumps used in administration of