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 4

Socioeconomic Conditions and the Space Sector

The ability of human beings to access and use the environment of outer space provides many unique opportunities for creating useful and profitable public and commercial goods and services. This ability has been present for just over forty years and has evolved and expanded as new technological breakthroughs have emerged from space R&D programs. From the perspective of the consumer, some goods and services such as voice communications that use space-based equipment are virtually indistinguishable from terrestrial-based products. Other services such as ...


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