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Space 2030

Exploring the Future of Space Applications

image of Space 2030
Since the launch of Sputnik in 1957, media attention has focused almost exclusively on spectacular space missions. However, space actors have also faced their fair share of setbacks: the Columbia tragedy, extravagant cost overruns and painful reductions in public support to space ventures.

Over the years, advances in space technologies have led to the development of increasingly sophisticated military and civil space assets.

Where is the space sector heading now? What are the obstacles to its further development? What are its future prospects? What are the applications that are likely to be successful in the future?

To answer these questions, this report adopted a scenario-based approach to explore the future evolution of major components of the space sector (military space, civil space, commercial space) over the next thirty years.  It covers four major factors of change: geopolitical developments, socio-economic developments, energy and the environment, technology.

"Outstanding review, especially useful for the three sophisticated scenarios, useful to many futurists."

Future Survey, August 2004.

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Background paper 1

Technology Trends - A Preliminary Report

For over half a century, mankind has been pursuing a dream of space exploration. The challenges have been Promethean in scope. The achievements have been remarkable and deeply transformative. The conquest of space has captured our imaginations and in so doing created a conundrum for futurists. How could it be that in a field of study so full of predictions, so many forecasts never came to pass (interplanetary travel, the mining of the moon)? Yet, at the same time, so many of the actual benefits were not properly anticipated (global communications with satellite phones, GPS). Our imaginations ran wild with the prospects of other worlds, yet failed to appreciate the possibilities on our home world ...

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