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Big Data and the Future of Space Exploration By @Stratustician | @BigDataExpo #BigData

Right now we are seeing the next call to action to build the next platform to power new projects from agencies like NASA

Big Data and the Future of Space Exploration
By Andrea Knoblauch

The last five years of advancements in technology, particularly cloud computing and Big Data, have had some significant impacts on lots of industries. In fact, one area of exploration is poised to see huge strides in not just how future missions are to be designed and executed, but how all the vast amounts of data collected will be stored, processed and analyzed. Welcome to the next generation of space exploration.

Space exploration has come back into the limelight over the last few years thanks to investment from many different industry groups, and large companies like SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin. We’ve also seen an opportunity for public involvement and funding for programs like Bill Nye’s LightSail, and opportunities to get involved in new programs aimed at colonizing Mars.

But there is an even bigger opportunity for space exploration, and it comes from designing and building the new platforms to support future exploration. We’re not just talking about back end computers here, new technology such as next generation cameras and AI, robotic space shuttles and a large enough computing environment to process all the data coming back are going to be critical to power the next wave of space exploration.

Right now we are seeing the next call to action to build the next platform to power new projects from agencies like NASA. We need to look at new computational models that allow for not just fast and secure collection of data from multiple distant sources, but also an analytics engine, such as one powered by Hadoop, to help make sense of all that data and make it available to the masses. It’s going to need to help validate data for things like mining studies and technology investments, and decision-making tools to support operational data management for systems such as helping select candidates for missions and ensuring that the new space shuttles can support astronauts in their travels through life support systems, on-board data collection tools and the latest in imaging technology to send back images to earth for the rest of us.

These systems will have a significant impact on the future of space exploration through helping to deliver value in helping to automate and streamline back end workflows to help handle the increasing amount of research projects, and also work as a platform that can be shared among many users from different industries, resulting in reduced cost and rework (including project overlap), increased collaboration and more learning opportunities. These projects will help form the basis for the future of space travel, including being able to simulate environments where humans will hopefully become once again travellers beyond the International Space Station. The more complex simulations that these new systems can perform, along with the increasing types of data that can be collected will help the success for the future of human space exploration.

There will also be a need for researchers who can sift through the large amounts of data to understand the new discoveries being transmitted back by the next generation of space travellers, human and not.

For those of us who dreamed about getting involved in space exploration, it looks like the future has a lot of great opportunities. I urge you to explore the different calls to action and get involved, and share some of the great projects that you’ve come across to help build momentum for the upcoming new era of space travel.

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