Featured Image: An XS-1 experimental space plane
Sunday, 25 March 2018, New York, NY – Whether it be good or bad, the future has a lot in store for us. From technological revelations, to space exploration, to climate change, here are a handful of important events that will shape the future as we know it.
James Webb Space Telescope: By 2019, Nasa will launch the James Webb space telescope, which is an improvement/replacement to the current Hubble Space telescope. The James Webb telescope will provide new insight into the early years of the universe, including some of the stars that formed just 200 million years after the Big Bang.
NASA supersonic technology: The Concorde was the only supersonic aircraft to carry regular passenger service, from its inception in 1976 to its retirement in 2003. We haven’t had a supersonic airliner since. However, that might change in the early 2020’s, when NASA introduces its quiet supersonic technology. The low boom supersonic planes will be a departure from conventional passenger aircraft design, and will make air travel greener, safer, quieter, and cheaper.
Glacier National Park: All of the ice in Glacier National Park will disappear in the early 2020’s. The pointlessness of the national park, however, is not the only consequence (because there are no more glaciers). The lack of ice in the area will severely damage the ecosystem, decrease water and rainfall, and increase the frequency and severity of wildfires.
Drones: By the year 2020, advanced drones will be used by police forces across the United States. They will generally be used to identify and act upon crime; however, they can also be used to monitor demonstrations and spy on citizens without warrants, leading to widespread privacy and civil rights concerns.
Orion Spacecraft: In 2023, NASA will launch the first manned test flight of the Orion spacecraft, which is the spacecraft that will eventually take humans to Mars. Four astronauts will be taken to a distant orbit around the moon for about two weeks. This will be the first time humans will leave low-earth orbit since the Apollo programme in 1972.
Total solar eclipse: On 8 April 2024, North America will experience a total solar eclipse. This will be the first eclipse seen from the US since the August 2017 eclipse, the first visible from Mexico since 1991, and the first visible from Canada since 1979. It will be the only total eclipse in the 21st century where totality is visible from all of North America.
Giant Magellan telescope: The Giant Magellan space telescope in Chile is slated for completion in 2025. It will have 10 times the resolving power of the Hubble Space Telescope, and will be the largest optical observatory in the world.
Extinct species: In the year 2028, scientists will bring several extinct species back to life, including the wild pigeon and the dodo. However, this isn’t going to be the first time scientists resurrect extinct species. In 2009, an extinct Pyrenean Ibex was brought back to life for just seven minutes after succumbing to lung defects.
Titanic disappears: By the year 2030, the Titanic will have completely disappeared due to over a century of exposure to metal eating bacteria and microorganisms. Nevertheless, some artifacts may evade the corrosion and remain recoverable in the future.
Decline of the United States: By the beginning of the 2030’s, many experts speculate that the United States will decline as a world power. Growing national debt, reduced manufacturing, and military overspending may contribute to a weakened national economy in the future.
Permanent moon bases: By the late 2030’s, permanent, manned settlements could appear on the lunar surface thanks to the development of new, heavy-lift rockets.
New stealth bomber: By the year 2037, the last B-52s will be decommissioned from the US Air Force. A new generation stealth bomber will be introduced, which will supposedly be the most advanced aircraft ever created.
Saturn mission: During the early 2040’s, a unmanned submarine will be sent to Titan, one of Saturn’s satellites. It will be deployed in one of Titan’s huge methane lakes, and will collect critical data, high definition video, and search for potential life forms.
Technological singularity: The years 2045 will be the year of technological singularity, as predicted by futurist Ray Kurzweil. In this year, the intelligence of artificial intelligence will exceed that of human intelligence, which will result in massive changes to human civilisation.
WWII: During the early 2040’s, a full century after WWII, the last WWII veterans will die off, marking the end of firsthand accounts of what will hopefully be the last global war in history. 6 June 2044 is the 100th anniversary of D-Day, and on this date, a time capsule will be opened near Normandy, containing newspapers, letters, and a message from former President Eisenhower to future generations.
Super hurricanes: By the late 2040’s, many Southern coastal cities, including Houston and New Orleans, will have to be abandoned due to super hurricanes. Thanks to climate change, hurricanes will become so powerful that it will force the permanent evacuation of these cities. 300+ kph winds, flash floods, and waves dozens of metres high will cause untold devastation and will render these cities uninhabitable.
Global highway: By the year 2050, every continent except Australia will be connected by road and railroad. It is also likely that the Darién Gap, an impassable patch of jungle that blocks any road connection between North and South America, will be filled in, finally completing the Pan American Highway and allowing for automobile travel between all continents (except Australia, of course).
Source: Second Thought