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European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer tuned into a live Thursday session at Davos Agenda 2022 from the International Space Station, somewhere over the Pacific, to discuss how research space can improve life on Earth.

In orbit for a six-month mission with the European Space Agency (ESA), Maurer will support a wide range of science experiments and technology research, including those dealing with disease transmission, reducing carbon emissions and activities related to human health. . The knowledge gained through its mission will contribute to development that benefits life on Earth.

“We’ve been working hard over the last few weeks and months to send back the cargo that we’ve collected for scientists to analyze all those samples that we’ve produced in space, and to derive science and knowledge from that for humanity,” he said.

He added that transnational and international collaboration aboard the space station should also be a model for how the world tackles grand challenges, such as climate change. From his perspective, Maurer described the beauty of the planet, but also pointed out that he could see the impact of climate change from space.

“When we fly around the Earth (16 times a day) we pass through very arid and dry areas and I can see scars on the planet where people are digging deep to extract resources. So we are actively reshaping the planet. We are cutting down trees and burning rainforests. I see the flames. I also see the floods.

Back on Earth, Al Gore, Vice President of the United States (1993-2001); The president and co-founder of Generation Investment Management explained how space technology and artificial intelligence can help fight climate change. He highlighted the work of Climate TRACE, a global coalition created to accelerate and facilitate meaningful climate action by independently tracking greenhouse gas emissions with unprecedented detail and speed.

“Some things you can see directly from space, like methane, but the difficulty of measuring CO2 emissions against a very varied CO2 background on Earth makes it necessary to use AI to get the precision we need,” he said. He added that if you consider something like GPS, it’s clear how quickly the opportunities presented by space technology and space exploration can integrate into our lives.

But data and knowledge gained from space should not be limited to those with satellites, said Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology, Emirates Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology United Arabs. “If only countries with access to satellites have access to data, we deny other countries the opportunity to benefit from this knowledge,” she said.

According to the World Economic Forum Global Risks Report 2022, space is increasingly crowded and commercialized. While the diversification of actors is an exciting development for many, outdated space governance frameworks are under considerable pressure, exposing the fault lines between the ambitions of different actors and the acceptability of their actions.

Echoing this message, Josef Aschbacher, Director General of ESA, noted that the volume of satellites indicates that regulation matters.

However, it will have to keep pace with a rapidly changing industry which, according to Astra Founder, Chairman and CEO Chris Kemp, is currently experiencing something of a revolution. “Access continues to increase thanks to the significant reductions in the cost of placing satellites in space and this has enabled a new generation of entrepreneurs to create companies, take them public and provide new abilities.”