SpaceX and the potential of commercial space travel
The human race has always been interested in exploring the frontier of space. From NASA’s first manned space flights with astronaut Alan Shepard in 1961, to Neil Armstrong of Apollo 11 stepping foot on the surface of the moon in 1969, advances in space travel are big news. Our fascination with “the great beyond” continues to this day, portrayed in the popularity of such popular Hollywood movies as “The Martian” and “Gravity.”
The Odds of Regular People Traveling To Space
In real life, widespread space travel has never been more of a likelihood than now. The first man to spend the longest consecutive time is space was Scott Kelly, who just recently completed NASA’s One Year In Space Program. Scientists were able to extensively study the long term effects of space on the body, comparing Kelly to his identical twin back on Earth.
SpaceX Is Making Space Travel a Reality For Everyone
It has long been a priority to get astronauts up into space, but what about the average citizen? Imagine being able to freely travel in space. It might be closer than you think. Commercial space travel is being explored by the company, SpaceX. Headquartered in California, and founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, who acts as the CTO (Chief Technology Officer), SpaceX’s main goal is to encourage space travel, and eventually be able to sustain human life on another planet.
Closer To The Goal of Colonization
SpaceX routinely launches rocket ships and spacecraft in pursuit of this goal. Elon Musk himself says that he hopes to land a human on the surface of Mars in the next 10-20 years, and have a colony there by 2040. Lofty goals, maybe but it’s exciting to see a private corporation partner with NASA on a 1.6 billion dollar contract to pursue life in space.
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.