“I could have gone on flying in space forever”–Yuri Gagarin
Move over, Buck Rogers. The U.S. administration wants to build a space force. With budget deficits approaching 10 figures, it could just be posturing–or wishful thinking. Elon Musk inisists he isn’t posturing on getting to Mars, though. He’s all over the space news this week–for a change.
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Space–U.S. vice president addressed the Pentagon with details of a proposed Space Force to be implemented by 2020. With a trillion dollar deficit looming, and a congressional majority composed of Republicans who (supposedly) espouse smaller government, it will be interesting to see where the funding will come from.
–The space force may be in doubt, but it’s full speed ahead to Mars, as far as Elon Musk is concerned. He convened a secret Mars workshop, attended by prominant scientists and engineers, to address colonization of the Red Planet.
—Meanwhile, Russia intends to compete with Elon and his SpaceX for heavy payload launch capability–eventually. Their rocket with 70 ton launch capacity is targeted for a rollout in 2028. Don’t look now, Vladimir, but with ten years lead time, Elon is bound to build something bigger.
–For you exo-planet fans, new estimates from NASA suggest it’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite could identify up to 10,000 new alien worlds over the next two years. As many as 3500 of them could be smaller than Neptune, down to and including Earth-sized planets.
Automation/future of work– Back on the ground, Elon Musk has other issues to deal with. His plans to fully automate a Tesla plant haven’t gone so smoothly.
Alternative energy/Environment–Elon has competiton in the alternative-energy trucking space as well. The ironically named Nikola has reportedly raised $100 million dollars for the launch its hyrdrogen-powered trucking venture.
The Human Condition–Millennium Project CEO and State of The Future lead author, Jerome Glenn, says that we have done better than most people expected. He goes so far as to say, in this Seeking Delphi™ interview linked below, that “we are winning as a species.” He does acknowledge critical issues that could derail the trajectory of progress, however.
Episode #24: The State of The Future, with Jerome Glenn