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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 3

Geopolitical Developments and the Future of the Space Sector

The relationship between space activities and international politics is one of symbiosis. Government investment makes space travel possible, and space capabilities, in turn, have become elemental to national power. Therefore, power relations among nations shape the market for space-related goods and services. Projections about the future of commercial space applications must take the global political environment into account. Although strategic competition can inspire governments to invest in space for military reasons, this report concludes that the ...

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