Dooner and The Dude learn how carrier DHL will fit into the commercial space world
DHL is one of the largest logistics companies on Earth, and it aims to take its presence into space as well.
Justin Baird is the vice president and head of innovation for the DHL Asia-Pacific sector. He joined Dooner and The Dude to discuss the projected footprint in space.
Baird says DHL produces a two-year research program called a Trend Radar, which highlights trends that may impact businesses; this year’s trends were space logistics and quantum computing, two things that go hand in hand.
“People think of space logistics as something that’s way off in the future … but that is not the case,” said Baird, pointing out DHL’s estimate of overall industry impact in five to 10 years.
As a carrier, DHL has the goal to use its specialization to handle sensitive space equipment like microsatellites and satellite carriers.
The company also wants to work with space waste reduction, creating devices that could collect space debris.
Baird says the true success of space logistics will come from manufacturing materials off of Earth.
“If you just take raw materials up there and you can manufacture them in space, that’s when
this whole space logistics thing is gonna turn into a completely different aspect in the industry.”
Sustainability of that manufacturing is crucial.
“It’s really important to have a sustainable environment so that we don’t make the same mistakes we made on Earth,” Baird says.
While DHL is forecasting a realistic time frame within the decade, Baird thinks the cusp of space logistics is closer.
“As a less conservative person, I think humans are really good at predicting things linearly and not exponentially, so I think this will impact us much sooner,” he says.