From space with love: will space materials save our lives on Earth? [PODCAST]

In this new episode, we are tackling a tremendously important issue although very little talked about; what does Youri Gagarine’s flight in space in 1961 have in common with an artificial heart, a dental appliance and a life blanket used by firemen to rescue people?
They are all derived from technologies developed for space exploration.


  • Hervé Gilibert, CTO at Ariane Group
  • Barbara Belvisi, Founder and CEO of Interstellar Lab
  • Frédéric Laniel, Marketing manager Aerospace Seals at Saint Gobain PPL


An increasing part of human activity is derived from the space conquest initiated in the sixties: the internet, our daily communication means, geolocalization, meteorology, these are for the telecommunications sector, but every part of our lives is concerned. Some studies show there are 1 600 technologies derived from the NASA programs, like a famous telescope named Hubble who is now used in surgery. The European Spatial Agency claims more than 200 derived applications of its technology transfer program.

We tend to associate spatial innovations to robots, telecommunications or GPS, but many other objects we use in everyday life are derived from it. New materials are actually one of the fields were spatial innovation is specifically efficient: solar panels, initially used to power space shuttles are one of the most famous examples. Space shuttles use a whole series of materials with memory shape qualities, like titanium alloy, which can be found in eyeglass frames, in mixt taps in our kitchens and in many surgery tools in hospitals.

Medicine has benefited a lot from space research. Today, space research is also fostering innovation in agriculture. What is the future of space technology transfers? How can space materials continue to foster progress on planet Earth?