Author Topic: Predictions for 2050  (Read 19743 times)

Offline Eric Hedman

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2209
  • The birthplace of the solid body electric guitar
  • Liked: 1839
  • Likes Given: 1045
Predictions for 2050
« on: 04/22/2022 10:23 pm »
Each year on this site we do predictions for the following year.  While I like taking part in that, I think predictions for where the space industry will be by December 31, 2050 might be more interesting.

Elon Musk has predicted he will have a million people on Mars by 2050.  As much as I like what SpaceX is doing, I dont believe the million people for a second (Sorry Elon).  It is only twenty-eight years away.  Wed have a hard time building an efficient new city of a million people from scratch on Earth in that time frame.  Figuring out how to build a large efficiently designed and livable pressurized city on Mars is going to take a long time.  A lot of lessons will have to be learned along the way.  We dont even know if humans can survive for generations in the low gravity.

Why 2050?  Its the year Musk made his predictions for Mars.  Its close enough that many of us might live to see it (I would be 91).  Its not so far out that it is likely that some out of the blue technological breakthrough will make all our predictions moot (example: somebody invents a transporter that can beam us to Mars).

I think it would be interesting to see what people on this forum think advancements in space will reach by 2050.  All topics are open.  Predict what launch vehicles will be like.  Predict what we will have done on the Moon, in LEO, on Mars, etc.  Predict commercial development in space.  Predict what SpaceX, Blue Origin, ULA, etc. will be doing and if they are still even in business.  Predict what our robotic planetary exploration programs will have accomplished.  Predict away.  I think the responses should be interesting.  Im working on my predictions.

Offline jmt27

  • Member
  • Posts: 38
  • Liked: 23
  • Likes Given: 24
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #1 on: 04/23/2022 12:18 am »
Assuming the war in Ukraine doesn't lead to full blown WWIII and eventualy rolls us back to the dark ages, I can only hope that we'll have at least a small base on Mars to do experiments a la ISS. At best we'd have starship bringing lots of building materials and have a bigger outpost, mining, ISRU, but nowhere near a million people... a hundred or 2 at the most with robots helping with building stuff.

Offline vapour_nudge

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 485
  • Australia
  • Liked: 266
  • Likes Given: 338
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #2 on: 04/23/2022 01:12 am »
Two or maybe three crew landings on the moon
Nobody on Mars or anywhere near it it is always 20 years away
(I reckon as soon as Elon Musk passes away Spacex will fade away too)
Starship wont be successful
Falcon 9 the mainstay
No successor to the ISS after it is ditched in 2036
Just one probe to an ice giant by then
No life found on any moon or planet or anywhere else in the universe
Plenty of amazing discoveries by JWST
Another Earth sized planet found in our Solar System
I reckon BO will be the next big thing only because they dont rely on Bezos technically
Vulcan still going but not a main player
Europe wont do anything of significance in that timeframe as they will be still reeling from fallout from Russian involvement today
And I will still be pessimistic especially of Mars

Offline DanClemmensen

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4280
  • Earth (currently)
  • Liked: 3410
  • Likes Given: 1274
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #3 on: 04/23/2022 01:39 am »
Between now and 2035 at the latest, ongoing advances in AI will result in the emergence of a superintelligence (SI) that will take control of all of civilization's resources. A human attempt to evaluate the goals and motivations of an SI are equivalent to a mouse attempting to evaluate humans, so there is no way to predict what will happen in 2050.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity
It's a long shot but an SI might choose to allow a merely human civilization to  remain continue on Mars.

Offline SweetWater

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 128
  • Wisconsin, USA
  • Liked: 137
  • Likes Given: 114
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #4 on: 04/23/2022 02:33 am »
SpaceX still exists as a private company providing launch, human spaceflight, terrestrial data (Starlink), deep space data (communication with moon and Mars bases and deep space probes) and transportation services to both government and private customers. Musk (~78 y/o in 2050) has at least 25 children and still claims to be involved in day-to-day operations, however this is generally acknowledged to be in an emeritus capacity. He has not retired to Mars. Starship/Superheavy in some form continues to fly.

Blue Origin still exists as a private company providing launch, human spaceflight, and LEO space station services. They have contracts with both NASA and ESA for ISRU operations at the lunar south pole. Uncrewed asteroid mining demonstration missions have given promising results and they are ramping up a commercial operation with a crewed component to start NET 2060. Jeff Bezos (~86 y/o) is still the titular CEO but is retiring comfortably in his volcano lair. New Glenn no longer flies, but Blue continues to build BE-4 engines out of spite.

ULA, while perhaps not under the same name, continues to exist. It no longer provides launch services but has switched to focus on in-space transportation services leveraging Centaur V and ACES technologies as well as propellant depots. It also has at least 1 permanently crewed commercial LEO space station and at least 2 commercial crew-tended free flyers (1 in polar orbit and 1 in GEO). Tory Bruno (would be ~88 in 2050) sadly passed several years ago; however astronauts posted to the Mars base occasionally report seeing a figure wearing a cowboy hat and riding a horse in the distance during dust storms. These reports are generally dismissed but their consistency gives NASA psychologists pause.

In terms of institutional US government launch capacity, SLS or some version of it remains as NASA's A-10 Warthog, with congress committing NASA to flying it whether they want to or not.

Reusable launch and propellant depot technologies have enabled a robust human presence on the moon, with the overall program bearing a resemblance to the US Antarctic Program. Several dozen scientist astronauts visit the moon each year, most for 1-2 week missions during the lunar daytime. NASA, ESA, JAXA, and a handful of international partners have collaborated on this project, which includes a handful of semi-permanent bases at sites of geologic interest, 1 permanently crewed base at the lunar south pole, and 1 permanent crew-tended base on the lunar far side for radio astronomy research.

The first crewed Mars landing took place circa 2040; a permanent base with a rotating crew of 10-20 exists in the Melas Chasma region. This base has the same international NASA, ESA, JAXA, etc. sponsors as the moon base described in the paragraph above.

China continues to operate a LEO space station, several 'commercial' crew-tended free-flying stations, as well as a crewed south pole Lunar base. Overall, tensions between China and the west remain high; however, in space, for practical reasons (esp. proximity of the respective lunar bases) relations are generally cordial. China has not conducted an independent crewed Mars program but has sent at least 2 astronauts to the international base at Melas Chasma.

Russia's human space program ceases most operations with the end of the ISS in 2030. Several cosmonauts visit the Chinese space station / free flyers throughout the 2030s as passengers on Shenzhou capsules (or their successors). 

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13769
  • UK
  • Liked: 3889
  • Likes Given: 220
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #5 on: 04/23/2022 09:57 am »
Future casting this far forward is far too much a hostage to fortune. I mean by then the Earth could be a smouldering nuclear ruin.

Offline geza

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 644
  • Budapest
    • Gza Meszna's web page
  • Liked: 404
  • Likes Given: 59
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #6 on: 04/23/2022 01:48 pm »
For sure, I'll be 94, dead, or alive. I'll know if we would have reached net zero CO2 emission, or not. That is, I'll know the climate future for my granddaughter.

For space, affordable spaceflight will be a solved problem. SpaceX Starship seems reasonable. If it fails, somebody else will do it better by 2050. This will open up a huge LEO tourism market. Orbital flights and orbital hotels for the average people. I don't see the point for significant orbital industry or large crewed research stations. Moon will become tourist destination also, for a smaller number of people. Geologic expeditions to different locations of the Moon will be commonplace, not much different from an expedition to a remote site on Earth. We will learn a lot about the early Solar System on the Lunar surface. I do not see much point for centralized research stations on the Moon. Reaching a geological destination from the station would not be easy; why don't fly there directly from Earth, if spaceflight is no longer that expensive? I don't see the case for a large propellant producing industry on Moon, either.

Then, Mars. We will fly there on each synod and maintain at least one research station with large power and propellant production and increasing self-reliance. I can imagine that some people will opt to become a permanent resident, but I don't believe in the 1 million inhabitants any time soon. The research base will be a hub for geologic expeditions to every interesting point of Mars. They can be either crewed, or robotic. History of Mars will be understood as much as Earth's one is understand today. Robots will play a huge role on Mars, so there will be no need for 1 million people to do this-or-that. Most people there will work on science, technology development and human services. There will be no need for e.g. factory workers.

While people will visit some asteroids (why not?), maybe even Callisto, most of the beyond-Mars research will be done robotically. Just because the flight time will be too much for human convenience. However, this will not be with once-in-a-decade multi-billion assets. Instead, we will have mass produced interplanetary spacecrafts, many of them. Developing a submarine for the icy bodies will not be cheap. However, many of them will be built and sent to different locations on e.g. Europa and Enceladus, maybe on Ceres and Pluto. Quite a few huge telescopes will be sent to Sun-Earth L2; human serviceability will be easy there. Large radio dishes will be sent to distant corners of the Solar System for VLBI.

Maybe, we can send a telescope to the focal point of the Sun, as a gravity lens?


Offline spacediver

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 129
  • Liked: 18
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #7 on: 04/25/2022 06:56 pm »
In 2050 a company from Augsburg, Germany, will be the world's leading launch service provider! 

Offline marcus79

  • Member
  • Posts: 85
  • Liked: 20
  • Likes Given: 8
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #8 on: 04/25/2022 07:49 pm »
I am going to be an optimist here, in a fashion. ;)

After Artemis had nearly collapsed from the demise of the SLS and Starship, due to a combination of technological problems and economic crises, it was revived in a smaller and more sustainable form. Medium lift reusable rockets will serve propellant depots that allow travel to the lunar gateway at a modest cost, and they will also enable lunar landings in the 2030s and travel onwards to Mars and asteroids in the 2040s. The entire program is focused on science and international cooperation. It is in effect a kind of Carl Sagan space program, mixing inspiration and prioritising science. Not just Canada, Japan and Europe are on board with this, but many new space powers as well, I am thinking of countries like Brazil and South Africa.

China will be the first to land people on the Moon again, around 2030, using the '921 rocket'. They, too, will face economic headwinds that force them to cancel the Long March 9. Together with the Russians they will cobble together a small base on the lunar surface that is mostly automated but results in good science. There will also be an attempt by them to work together to achieve a breakthrough in nuclear electric propulsion. Some results are achieved, enabling them to transport larger masses through interplanetary space. Due to the technical challenges involved, however, they will be on Mars later than the US-led coalition. The Chinese will also have mastered spaceplane technology, enabling them to service a larger space station. This program will attract international cooperation too, mostly of Asian and African partners.

It's not clear to me which of these two blocs India will choose to join.

Overall, between 2020 and 2050 spaceflight will show technological and scientific breakthroughs greater than between 1990 and 2020, mostly because of a shift away from the massive heavy-lift programs that eat up all the budget and have few credible applications outside human spaceflight. We will see so many amazing scientific discoveries. I am looking forward to having the leisure time of old age to read all about them.
« Last Edit: 04/25/2022 07:54 pm by marcus79 »

Offline Polaroid

  • Member
  • Posts: 22
  • Finland
  • Liked: 31
  • Likes Given: 50
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #9 on: 04/25/2022 09:35 pm »
I think armed forces of many nations will be much more active in space by 2050. Space planes will be operated by most great powers, both for civilian and military use. Advanced version of Starship is used by US Space Force, Air Force and Marines for point to point travel, LEO and to travel to the Moon. Mars has a permanent base, a program similar to the Artemis Accords, with about 50 astronauts mostly from the US, Canada, EU and the UK.

There are numerous permanent bases on the moon, both commercial and government.

"The Bezos" is a huge space station in LEO, used for science and recreation.

China has a number of space stations in LEO, one orbiting the Moon and two permanent bases on the surface of the Moon. China has an active program to mine asteroids.

Russian HSF program has all but ended, but Russia does maintain one obsolete station in LEO.

Virgin Galactic have announced they will start regularly flying paying customers next year.

Offline Eric Hedman

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2209
  • The birthplace of the solid body electric guitar
  • Liked: 1839
  • Likes Given: 1045
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #10 on: 04/26/2022 03:38 am »
Virgin Galactic have announced they will start regularly flying paying customers next year.
That made my day.  That is Funny and probably an accurate prediction.
 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Offline high road

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1688
  • Europe
  • Liked: 837
  • Likes Given: 152
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #11 on: 04/27/2022 11:42 am »
- Space tourism continues to be a marginal activity in space, riding on the back of other activities rather than the reverse.

- large scale (Orbital Reef) commercial space stations are finally starting to be commercially viable, after several decades of 'build it and they will come' delusions, as technology for in space production finally matures and production levels grow to the size of needing large scale space stations.

- Following the demize of Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin has petered out. Whatever viable product/service was there has been bought up by an oldspace company.

- There is/are one or more outposts on the moon for exploration, but more for one-uping China, who also have a base there. There is also a limited oxygen production plant supplying propellant for the return trip, but it can't compete with propellant launched from earth for trips to Mars. There may be a metals production plant as a byproduct of this (in the case that it's not just extracting propellants from ice), but otherwise no viable ores have been found, as it all relevant ores require hydrothermal, vulcanic and biological processes to form. Iron, even though it's the easiest to extract from regolith, is of limited use without enough carbon to make steel, materials to reduce smelting temperatures, or an easy way to get rid of heat.

- Following the death of Musk, Mars projects have stalled. There is a base for research purposes, but a large part of the people who went there, have returned. There is no mining other than regolith gathering, as mining requires a huge amount of water, which comes at a significant cost on Mars. Let alone the backlash of highly visible polution. Local food production has yet to earn back its setup costs, and is being phased out as it adds considerable additional labour costs, that are no longer affordable in light of declining population. On the other hand, with facilities already being there, largely unused and thus with plenty of spare parts, limited local food production will last for quite a while yet.

Europe has projects running on all of the above, but no stations or bases owned by ESA or national governments. Roscosmos still comes up with new amazing projects every other month, but none have materialized or proved to be gamechanging.

Without competition, Starship has not improved beyond what Elon wanted for Mars, nor reduced its price per launch below 2020 F9 prices. (although with the demise of Musk, the company may split one way or another in multiple companies that could compete with each other). While it is the goto launcher for commercial flights, oldspace companies are still propped up by governments. A handful of smallsat companies are still in business, but that hand has been in a fight with Amber Heard. (I'll have forgotten what this means by then, so less than five)

LEO is congested with satellites, requires considerable coordination and red tape, and limited cleanup efforts have begun.

Offline eric z

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 527
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 1997
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #12 on: 04/27/2022 06:15 pm »
 The space policy threads will still be dominated by arguments over SLS, even though the program was phased out years before.

Offline Eric Hedman

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2209
  • The birthplace of the solid body electric guitar
  • Liked: 1839
  • Likes Given: 1045
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #13 on: 04/27/2022 07:20 pm »
The space policy threads will still be dominated by arguments over SLS, even though the program was phased out years before.
I predict SLS/Orion will get 8 flights before the program ends.  When Starship is flying at a tiny fraction of the cost of SLS and New Glenn gets a reusable second stage, even Congress will finally get it.  I'm betting there will be an attempt to keep Orion alive by flying it on New Glenn.

Offline Zed_Noir

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4944
  • Canada
  • Liked: 1604
  • Likes Given: 1212
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #14 on: 04/28/2022 05:26 am »
The space policy threads will still be dominated by arguments over SLS, even though the program was phased out years before.
I predict SLS/Orion will get 8 flights before the program ends.  When Starship is flying at a tiny fraction of the cost of SLS and New Glenn gets a reusable second stage, even Congress will finally get it.  I'm betting there will be an attempt to keep Orion alive by flying it on New Glenn.
Orion could be much more viable if decoupled from the SLS launcher. Lockheed Martin should consider flying it on the Falcon Heavy and figure out how to supplement the current puny service module or replaced it with something more capable. The current Orion launch abort escape capability can be descoped substantially minus the SLS. However the Starship becoming operational will pushed the Orion into the dustbin of history.


However back on topic.

By 2050 following the wedding of Musk's grandson to Jeff Bezos's granddaughter that lead to the creation of the TeraCorp AmazonX that dominated system commerce, logistics, manufacturing, transportation and web service with corporate HQ at Arcadia Planitia. The old homestead of the Musk family.  :P

Offline jebbo

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 917
  • Cambridge, UK
  • Liked: 576
  • Likes Given: 308
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #15 on: 04/28/2022 06:09 am »
For fun, I've tried to revamp the old ULA "Cislunar Roadmap" they did a few years ago, with 5, 15 and 30 year projections ... and here's my latest 30-year (2051) projection. Probably nonsense but fun to speculate ;)

--- Tony

Offline spacenut313

  • Member
  • Posts: 1
  • New York
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #16 on: 05/17/2022 10:36 pm »
Over the next 5-10 years launch costs will probably come down materially from reusability, new materials/fuels, SpaceX-driven cost efficient production methods etc. This will mean space will become more accessible and lots of new applications will probably begin to emerge in the following decade or so, such as space tourism, space logistics/delivery, space-based solar power, moon/asteroid mining etc.

Citigroup had a go at what it could look like by 2040 - https://www.citivelocity.com/citigps/space/

All very exciting stuff! :)

Offline Riviera69

  • Member
  • Posts: 1
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #17 on: 05/22/2022 02:32 am »
The most exciting thing will be space travel. If we could go in time to 2050, to see what it will be like.

Read the article below
https://interestingengineering.com/life-in-2050-a-glimpse-at-space-in-the-future-part-i/

A real new business is coming soon

Offline sanman

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5825
  • Liked: 1257
  • Likes Given: 8
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #18 on: 05/22/2022 03:50 pm »
By 2050, Starship will have been long retired after serving as a mainstay workhorse space vehicle. By then there will be an even larger and even more capable workhorse vehicle in service.

There will be plenty of robots on Mars, even if human have only a light token presence there (most likely in orbit). The decision to use robots as an easy low-risk path to Mars exploration and colonization will have proven to be the best of all worlds, with unprecedentedly capable robots transmitting back volumes of vital data and important discoveries risk-free. AI will enable robots with extreme versatility and capabilities. There will be surface exploration at the Martian poles, and even the Martian underground.

The human presence on the Moon will be greater, through a permanent continually-staffed Moonbase. Flights to the Moon will be as routine as flights to LEO are today. With the ISS long gone, the Moonbase will be the new routine destination for manned flights. Lunar surface EVAs will be common. But manned missions to Mars will still be a relatively novel and more expeditionary thing.

There will be at least a half-dozen launch providers among private companies, in addition to various govt space agencies.

Offline Eric Hedman

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2209
  • The birthplace of the solid body electric guitar
  • Liked: 1839
  • Likes Given: 1045
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #19 on: 05/22/2022 05:38 pm »
By 2050, Starship will have been long retired after serving as a mainstay workhorse space vehicle. By then there will be an even larger and even more capable workhorse vehicle in service.

There will be plenty of robots on Mars, even if human have only a light token presence there (most likely in orbit). The decision to use robots as an easy low-risk path to Mars exploration and colonization will have proven to be the best of all worlds, with unprecedentedly capable robots transmitting back volumes of vital data and important discoveries risk-free. AI will enable robots with extreme versatility and capabilities. There will be surface exploration at the Martian poles, and even the Martian underground.

The human presence on the Moon will be greater, through a permanent continually-staffed Moonbase. Flights to the Moon will be as routine as flights to LEO are today. With the ISS long gone, the Moonbase will be the new routine destination for manned flights. Lunar surface EVAs will be common. But manned missions to Mars will still be a relatively novel and more expeditionary thing.

There will be at least a half-dozen launch providers among private companies, in addition to various govt space agencies.
This sounds very plausible.  This outcome would not surprise me in the least.

Offline ThereIWas3

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 948
  • Liked: 500
  • Likes Given: 338
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #20 on: 06/02/2022 08:09 pm »
Ecological collapse will have ended all manned space programs.

Offline Eric Hedman

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2209
  • The birthplace of the solid body electric guitar
  • Liked: 1839
  • Likes Given: 1045
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #21 on: 06/03/2022 04:33 am »
Ecological collapse will have ended all manned space programs.
Aren't you a ray of sunshine?

Offline soyuzu

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 271
  • Liked: 402
  • Likes Given: 213
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #22 on: 06/03/2022 05:42 am »
Spaceflight community will still overestimate the impact of new technology in the short-term and underestimate the effect in the long run, like this thread shows.

Offline jstrotha0975

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 509
  • United States
  • Liked: 296
  • Likes Given: 2358
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #23 on: 06/03/2022 04:56 pm »
Ecological collapse will have ended all manned space programs.

They told me in school in the late 80's the NYC would be under 7 ft of water by 2000.

Offline Eric Hedman

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2209
  • The birthplace of the solid body electric guitar
  • Liked: 1839
  • Likes Given: 1045
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #24 on: 06/03/2022 07:50 pm »
Ecological collapse will have ended all manned space programs.

They told me in school in the late 80's the NYC would be under 7 ft of water by 2000.
Historians found a conversation in the Nixon White House tapes from around 1972 Tip O'Neil telling Nixon the same thing.  He said Washington D.C. would be underwater too.

Offline Nemzoj Otikeun

  • Member
  • Posts: 11
  • Earth
  • Liked: 7
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #25 on: 06/05/2022 01:39 pm »
With 28 years to speculate on the distance has to be long to come close but any error in direction will get magnified to the point where these predictions will look really silly in hindsight. The good news is I will not care because if I am still alive I will not be able to remember my own name let alone what I said decades ago.

Falcon raised the bar for entry into the launch business and Starship will raise it higher. Staying in the launch business will involve jumping now so the big providers will be SpaceX, China and India - each with their version of Starlink. When Jeff loses interest ULA takes the engines side of Blue for USSF launches and RocketLab picks up the large infrastructure for their successor to Neutron. Europe will operate something with solid rockets for military launches but will license something big from SpaceX or RocketLab for their version of Starlink.

Some major cities will be connected by sub-orbital Starship. The landing facilities will be incompatible with competitors so they would have to build their own. New Shepard and Virgin Galactic will be forgotten. Nuclear powered methane production becomes marginally cost competitive because of carbon taxes. There will be some SLS launches and repeat contracts to replace hardware that died of old age. SLS eventually gets cancelled and replaced by something even more expensive and delayed - probably a nuclear powered interplanetary engine.

The expensive part of astronomy is the data handling, which will be 3D superconducting molecular circuits built by DNA programmed nano machines. Astronomy will get pushed into space by Starlink and its competitors but satellites will be mass produced. That will bring down the prices of the next two most expensive components: the mirrors and the sensor. Add in some widely spaced gravitational wave detectors and a neutrino detector on the Moon so there should be some really impressive discoveries.

Spinlaunch or its equivalent will be operational ... on the Moon. Payloads will be LOX and light metals. Some Luna transport will be by cable car -  used to prototype technology for a lunar space elevator.

Lunatics and Martians will still spend most of their work time underground and operate surface machinery by telepresence. There will be an experimental large electromagnet to test techniques for building a really big magnet that will live at Mars-Sun L1 to act as a radiation shield. There Mars population will be too small to justify a shield but it will give people some reason to think that Mars has a future. High temperature electronics for use on the surface of Venus gets a 1m process - enough for some simple CPUs. 

Self-driving cars will still require supervision on ordinary roads but will work properly and be mandatory on roads built or adapted for the purpose.

Offline Lagranger

  • Member
  • Posts: 2
  • United States
  • Liked: 4
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #26 on: 06/05/2022 04:13 pm »
I believe that it is probably not possible to predict technical developments, but I guess that no rocket currently operational or in-development will be launching in the year 2050.

SpaceX would probably not be an Elon Musk project, but it will probably still be run by "true believers" in space colonization and exploitation. The company would likely be controversial even without its founder. Blue Origin will hopefully be an orbital launch provider. The small launch market will probably go through multiple cycles of consolidation and expansion, but I hope that Rocket Lab sticks around. Medium and heavy launch providers will likely proliferate and appear in new countries.

2050 seems far enough out that a driving product for space industry could be discovered. My bet would be manufactured organs or some sort of exotic super-material, but those are just shots in the dark, and I have no doubt that when (and if) a space product comes out, it will be surprising.

I also believe that space politics will be more mainstream, militarized, and divisive. Instead of a broad grouping of space supporters, there might be many factions who publicly and loudly disagree about the proper use of space. It seems likely that international manned spaceflights will still happen, but that they will be based on alliances instead of something like the ISS.

Barring anything really dramatic and unexpected, I would bet on there being on the order of hundreds of people living in LEO, tens of people on the Moon, and less than ten people on Mars (most likely zero, but perhaps a manned outpost). If a very important product is discovered in space, that could lead to these figures being much larger, perhaps by one or two orders of magnitude.

It also seems likely that some sort of Kessler Syndrome event will happen, but I am optimistic that it will be mitigated somehow :).

Offline daedalus1

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 880
  • uk
  • Liked: 429
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #27 on: 06/05/2022 04:52 pm »
Ecological collapse will have ended all manned space programs.

They told me in school in the late 80's the NYC would be under 7 ft of water by 2000.

No one in their right mind was predicting that. Your teacher should have been sacked.
I was reading a lot in the 1970's about the effects of CO2 on the climate and yes sea levels would rise but much slower.

Offline Orbiter

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2981
  • Florida
  • Liked: 1512
  • Likes Given: 1370
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #28 on: 06/05/2022 05:05 pm »
I agree that human missions to Mars by 2050 will be a relatively rare, Apollo-like thing. I don't believe humanity will ever have a permanent presence on Mars until the 2100s.
NASA Engineer. Astronomer & launch photographer

Offline scienceguy

  • Regular
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 832
  • Lethbridge, Alberta
  • Liked: 148
  • Likes Given: 268
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #29 on: 07/17/2022 09:38 pm »
Predictions for 2050

A commercial nuclear fusion power plant just came online last year.

There have been two human missions to Mars, one in 2047, one in 2049. Both were just flags and footprints, both largely done by NASA, with support from SpaceX. There is doubt as to further human missions to Mars, as the US government is looking at deep cuts to curb national debt.

The world will have largely transitioned to wind and solar power generation, but some oil and coal will still be used.

Electronics will continue to advance unchecked, such that people will be attending meetings as holograms a la Star Wars. Hologram movies will be popular a la Futurama.

Biomedical advances will continue to be made, such that people will regularly be living to 110 years old.

There will be a rotating space hotel, taking space tourists.

NASA will have a base in lunar orbit, and a base on the lunar surface, both mainly staffed by research scientists.

There will be extensive data on hundreds of thousands of exoplanets, but no life found yet.
e^(pi*i) = -1

Offline SunVogel

  • Member
  • Posts: 1
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #30 on: 09/03/2022 05:12 am »
There will be no space program in 2050s.  Launches probably end by 2035 or sooner, due to deindustrailization.

The last 160 years are the result of cheap liquid energy (oil)  that returns far more energy/calories than it takes to extract it ... the Energy Return on Investment, EROI = calories_received/calories_expended

Every material aspect of modern society amounts to oil in a different form. Every building, road, piece of clothing, bag of flour. That includes solar, wind, nuclear power which cannot exist without a liquid oil infrastructure to support them.

Uranium can't be mined by wind power. It needs deisel.  Passenger airplanes can't fly on solar. They need pretty specific high calorie liquid fuels. Solar panels can't be manufactured in quantity without oil infrastructure to mine the silver and other materials to construct the inefficient panels which degrade in ~15 years.  Solar power accelerates world energy poverty.

Even electric cars are actually powered by coal used to produce the electricity obtained when plugged in to recharge the lithium/nickel batteries that need oil to be mined and transported back and forth through the refining stages. And that coal to power "electric" cars needs oil to be mined in quantity. 

Any replacement technology would takes decades to deploy even if it didn't itself require oil to develop. There is no replacement technology visible and no time to deploy if there was.

We live in a high tech society not because we are smarter now, but because we had cheap, easy energy .... 10s of thousands of calories could be obtained for each calorie of work expended to obtain it in the form petroleum products. That's why the modern world of technology is different from the rest of history.

This is going to end shortly because all the "economic" oil has been tapped.  It is rapidly getting to the point where it takes more than one barrel worth of energy to extract a barrel of oil from the ground. 

The halfway point was passed in 2012 (half a barrel of energy to get one barrel to market). The low hanging fruit of the last 160 years is GONE.  The days of Jed Clampet  making a fortune with a lucky shot into the dirt are long gone. It takes a lot of energy to extract oil now:



When it takes more energy to get oil out of the ground than the energy contained in the oil (which will happen in the mid-late 2020s), the value of the oil remaining in the ground goes to ZERO. Even if ~53% of the world's reserves remain (as they will), getting it to market leaves you poorer than if you left it in the ground.

Poorer in the sense of less available energy, less ability to do things, even if the dollars are inflated so you have more of those.

It doesn't matter how much you want, need or are willing to pay for it. Getting the oil only makes you poorer. Economic viability is upstream from supply and demand.

Oil companies and governments are pushing the date off by taking on massive debt (as with uneconomic shale oil), pushing the energy cliff to the future. But that can't last but a few years and is already well advanced. The US government has about $250 trillion of debt obligations that will need to be paid in the next 20 years. It's not possible. $32 trillion more are being added per year. Living like its the 1960s and energy to do things is easily available.

Price of oil may go up, being measured in inflating dollars. But what you can do with the residual energy left after the extraction energy, is going to zero.  Oil in the ground is becoming worthless.

If a booth across the street will give you a dollar bill, but you have to pay a $2 toll first, how much is that booth worth?  ZERO.  Same with oil.

So this means no space program. Zero. Nada. Return to 1800's level energy sources in the next 10-15 years. No space colonies. No starships. Not even world-wide air travel.

Online Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 38631
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 24290
  • Likes Given: 11895
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #31 on: 09/03/2022 05:39 am »
Okay, let's not get political. I thought it was satire.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Online M.E.T.

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2217
  • Liked: 2792
  • Likes Given: 478
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #32 on: 09/03/2022 07:04 am »
To my knowledge, Musk has not claimed we will have a million people on Mars by 2050. He has said he hopes we are well on our way there, but that it wont be reached in his lifetime.

(Of course someone will now point me to a quote where he did indeed say exactly that).🤷‍♂️

Anyway, I recall several conversations where he has said a self sustaining city (meaning at least 1 million people) will only be achieved after his lifetime.

« Last Edit: 09/03/2022 07:06 am by M.E.T. »

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9087
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #33 on: 09/03/2022 07:26 am »
Wed have a hard time building an efficient new city of a million people from scratch on Earth in that time frame.

Shenzhen's population grew from 59k in 1980 to 1.1M in 1991, that's just 11 years.

People only have a hard time imagining this because they thought everybody else on Earth is as mired in regulation hell as the west, not so I can tell you, once you threw red tapes out of the window, humans can do remarkable things in a short time.


Offline Eric Hedman

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2209
  • The birthplace of the solid body electric guitar
  • Liked: 1839
  • Likes Given: 1045
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #34 on: 09/06/2022 06:45 am »
Wed have a hard time building an efficient new city of a million people from scratch on Earth in that time frame.

Shenzhen's population grew from 59k in 1980 to 1.1M in 1991, that's just 11 years.

People only have a hard time imagining this because they thought everybody else on Earth is as mired in regulation hell as the west, not so I can tell you, once you threw red tapes out of the window, humans can do remarkable things in a short time.
59,000 people is not starting from scratch.  Plus they didn't have to develop new technology to do it.

Offline Timber Micka

Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #35 on: 09/06/2022 01:44 pm »
I think we will have a permanently manned base at the lunar South Pole and a manned outpost (similar to an Antarctic base) near one of the two poles of Mars.
The 2050s will be a complicated decade for NASA as lunar and Mars operations will be transferred to the private sector (SLS/Orion replaced by a Commercial Crew-like program) and the agency will have to refocus its activities significantly.
I think that from there they will work mainly in the field of robotics and in the search for advanced propulsion systems, which will be essential to explore the outer planets and other distant destinations efficiently.
At JPL I believe work on unmanned submarines to explore ocean worlds of our solar system will be well underway. Following the success of the previous mission to Uranus, there will be a flagship mission to Neptune during the decade (I hope it will include a Triton Lander).
A very large telescope, probably Luvoir B, as well as an equivalent to the Terrestrial Planet Finder will be operational.

I think that a major "Horizon 2100" program will be created in order to determine clear objectives for the end of the century and anticipate the challenges of space exploration in the 22nd century. One of the goals could be to send a robotic probe to the Alpha Centauri system by the end of the century.

Offline raketa

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 460
  • Liked: 147
  • Likes Given: 59
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #36 on: 09/06/2022 02:43 pm »
Do you think SLS and Orion will have any significant role in building Moon base or even Mars.?I could see maybe 2-3 moon SLS trips, since Elon focus is Mars and Moon is just test bed.But Mars will be private enterpise supported by richest peron on the world.

Offline Eric Hedman

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2209
  • The birthplace of the solid body electric guitar
  • Liked: 1839
  • Likes Given: 1045
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #37 on: 09/06/2022 10:33 pm »
Do you think SLS and Orion will have any significant role in building Moon base or even Mars.?I could see maybe 2-3 moon SLS trips, since Elon focus is Mars and Moon is just test bed.But Mars will be private enterpise supported by richest peron on the world.
I don't see how anyone could afford building anything significant on the Moon with the cost of SLS/Orion.  I think SLS and Orion will be phased out early in the next decade after a basic foundation of a base is placed on the Moon.  I think it will be Starship and future competitors that build up the Moon infrastructure in the 2030s.

Offline Elvis in Space

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 563
  • Elvis is Everywhere
  • Still on Earth
  • Liked: 756
  • Likes Given: 5979
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #38 on: 09/06/2022 11:41 pm »
Ecological collapse will have ended all manned space programs.

They told me in school in the late 80's the NYC would be under 7 ft of water by 2000.

They told me in 1968 that we'd all be dead from pollution, pandemic, totalitarianism, alien invasion, nuclear holocaust, over-population, and starvation from crop failure due to all the above listed reasons. What really failed? Most of the things that were going to destroy us.

I'll take a moderate outlook and figure that Spacex, spurred by competition, some yet unforeseen, has indeed gained a permanent foothold on the Moon and Mars. To what degree it's too hard to predict but we are there. I think more accurate guides of what to expect are the examples of what happened to growth in aviation, telecommunications, computers, etc. Humanity's natural instincts are to always look for something that works better. That's something that hasn't failed in all of human history so it seems the safest bet.  8)
« Last Edit: 09/06/2022 11:59 pm by Elvis in Space »
Cheeseburgers on Mars!

Offline Eric Hedman

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2209
  • The birthplace of the solid body electric guitar
  • Liked: 1839
  • Likes Given: 1045
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #39 on: 09/12/2022 02:54 am »
This is going to end shortly because all the "economic" oil has been tapped.  It is rapidly getting to the point where it takes more than one barrel worth of energy to extract a barrel of oil from the ground. 
No.  I deal with people in oil exploration.  They tell me there is plenty of oil and we are nowhere near peak oil.  The technology they have developed is absolutely amazing as they keep finding better ways to extract oil from multiple types of geological structures.  The Permian Basin has plenty of oil available for the foreseeable future that does not require anywhere near the energy you claim it does to get it out.

Whether we should be doing this is a separate debate and off topic for this thread.

Offline laszlo

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 794
  • Liked: 1041
  • Likes Given: 420
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #40 on: 09/12/2022 12:05 pm »
Machine learning will be the latest tech confused with AI (In the past it was chess-playing, calculus, translation, etc.). People who don't understand the difference will assume that the machines actually know what they're doing and will trust them. The algorithms will be fed data that reinforces the owners' biases. As a result, the economy will be wrecked, climate change will be accelerated instead of reversed and there will be widespread warfare as desperate people try to find a dry place to live, clean water to drink and anything to eat. The algorithms will be used to direct the wars and weapons and the large nation states will be destroyed because of the biased data that reinforces cultural stereotypes and underestimates the enemy. The world will revert to autocratic theocracies as people look for any kind of leader to get them through their daily troubles..

Space flight will have stopped in the 2000's because of the LEO debris from mega-constellations and orbital warfare. Any satellites that survived the hunter-killer ASATs will have been destroyed by the debris and become more debris themselves. The space hobbyist billionaires were exterminated with the rest of the 1/2%, the way the French aristocracy was in the 18th century, by people who needed food, water and a dry place to sleep.

Without easy long-distance travel, pandemics are rare. However, environmentally-caused diseases, such as cancer, COPD, etc. replace them as the air and water polluted with the by-products of burned and submerged cities and the pollution of war (radiation, toxic chemicals, etc.) are inhaled and ingested by the survivors.

A lone survivor in a ruined valley gazes wistfully at the moon and throws a useless cellphone into the sky.

Offline Alx

  • Member
  • Posts: 5
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #41 on: 09/12/2022 09:38 pm »
Three things could happen by 2050.

1) fusion reactors.
2) General AI
3) universal robot (Tesla Bot)

What are the implications for space?

1) fusion reactors

Successes from companies like Helion or Zap Energy could lead to the development of a fusion engines.
In this case, the timeline will look something like
2030 - Creation of the first commercial stations
2040 - fusion engines
2050 - manned expeditions to asteroids, Jupiter and Saturn.

2070-s - there could be interstellar probe.

2) General AI + Robots

It might happen, it might not. Although some believe that it could happen as early as 2030.
It will significantly expand the possibilities of space exploration without human participation.

A robot that can independently perform scientific and construction tasks in space without human supervision.

Robot research bases.
The construction of human settlements in space.

Offline Eric Hedman

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2209
  • The birthplace of the solid body electric guitar
  • Liked: 1839
  • Likes Given: 1045
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #42 on: 10/22/2022 09:15 pm »
Lockheed Martin got in the act with predictions about 2050:

https://twitter.com/TheGalacticGal/status/1583203432395333633

Offline JohnFornaro

  • Not an expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10875
  • Delta-t is an important metric.
  • Planet Eaarth
    • Design / Program Associates
  • Liked: 1253
  • Likes Given: 718
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #43 on: 10/28/2022 03:19 pm »
To the OP:

I'll be 97.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline JohnFornaro

  • Not an expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10875
  • Delta-t is an important metric.
  • Planet Eaarth
    • Design / Program Associates
  • Liked: 1253
  • Likes Given: 718
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #44 on: 10/28/2022 03:24 pm »
Each year on this site we do predictions for the following year.  While I like taking part in that, I think predictions for where the space industry will be by December 31, 2050 might be more interesting.

Elon Musk has predicted he will have a million people on Mars by 2050.  As much as I like what SpaceX is doing, I dont believe the million people for a second ...

Why 2050?  Its the year Musk made his predictions for Mars.  ... Predict away.  I think the responses should be interesting.  Im working on my predictions.

When I first entered the prediction business on this site, back in '09, I made a reverse prediction that had we kept on going to the Moon, in the 40 years since '69, there could have been 100K people living on the Moon.

Musk is selling sizzle, not steak, regardless of his current accomplishments. 

But.

Things could change with the advent of a responsible world government.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline JohnFornaro

  • Not an expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10875
  • Delta-t is an important metric.
  • Planet Eaarth
    • Design / Program Associates
  • Liked: 1253
  • Likes Given: 718
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #45 on: 10/28/2022 03:26 pm »

No life found on any moon or planet or anywhere else in the universe


While absense of evidence is not evidence of absence, I think you're correct.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline JohnFornaro

  • Not an expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10875
  • Delta-t is an important metric.
  • Planet Eaarth
    • Design / Program Associates
  • Liked: 1253
  • Likes Given: 718
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #46 on: 10/28/2022 03:44 pm »

No.  I deal with people in oil exploration.  They tell me there is plenty of oil and we are nowhere near peak oil.  The technology they have developed is absolutely amazing as they keep finding better ways to extract oil from multiple types of geological structures.  The Permian Basin has plenty of oil available for the foreseeable future that does not require anywhere near the energy you claim it does to get it out.

Back in my 20's, I fell for the Club of Rome story line, believing that they had done the necessary review of proven reserves.  Turns out that they hadn't done that work, and, as has been pointed out above, didn't account for drilling tech improvements.

Thing is, the planet is finite, so technically, there has to be a peak oil point.

Just sayin'.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline AmigaClone

Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #47 on: 10/28/2022 04:33 pm »

No life found on any moon or planet or anywhere else in the universe


While absense of evidence is not evidence of absence, I think you're correct.

I believe that there is a chance no evidence of life by 2050 - except for life from planet Earth. That is not to say there is no life, just that we have not seen evidence of it yet.

Offline Greg Hullender

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 561
  • Seattle
    • Rocket Stack Rank
  • Liked: 405
  • Likes Given: 303
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #48 on: 11/14/2022 12:01 am »
1994 was 28 years ago, so that gives us some idea of the sort of scale of change we might expect. Anything that's not at least in the lab now will not be in production (and probably not even planning) by 2050. So no space elevators (maybe one on the moon though), no fusion rockets, no serious AI missions (e.g. capable of self repair), no hibernation, etc.

I think Starship actually will work, but the prices won't come down as much as people expect until there's competition. (Much as Falcon 9 prices haven't come down as much as was expected.) Serious competition may be 10 years away, or more, but once it happens, we might well see super-low costs of payload to orbit. If that doesn't happen, then 2050 won't look very different from today.

I think we'll have a base on the moon, but probably not before 2030. "We" means the US and Europe. I don't think Russia and China will still be major players in space by then.

We will finally have figured out how much gravity people actually need to be healthy and how much mammals need to reproduce. I think we'll also have figured out how to make rotating space structures work.

This process will take long enough that I think a manned Mars mission will be in the works, but I don't think any will have actually landed on Mars yet. There might have been a "mission to Phobos," though, and I think the Mars Sample Return will actually happen before then.

We'll have sent a new generation of unmanned probes to the outer planets--to Uranus and Neptune in particular--although they likely won't have arrived yet.

Space tourism will exist, but be negligible, with orbital tickets at ~$100,000 (2020 dollars) and trips to the moon for $1,000,000.
« Last Edit: 11/14/2022 09:16 pm by Greg Hullender »

Offline Vahe231991

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1661
  • 11 Canyon Terrace
  • Liked: 447
  • Likes Given: 192
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #49 on: 11/29/2022 02:33 pm »
Predictions 2050

* SpaceX Mothership is demonstrated with its first suborbital launch.  The 1 km wide mothership achieves 60,000 ft altitude, then extends actuated batwing flaps to a controlled descent.  Once it arrives 500 feet above the ground, it hovers and beams power to a fleet of eighteen wheeler Tesla trucks before firing plasma engines for landing.  Future funding is approved.

* Astronauts begin training for Mars by installing Neuralink implants to endure the hardships of a long space journey.  Most astronauts enjoy Neuralink as it allows them to sleep on a sofa in the office while working 85 hours a week with minimal exhaustion. All astronauts enjoy collecting rocks from their driveways throughout the week to extract essential oils as well as vital minerals nutrients.

* Drama ensues after legislation is signed into law that allows for the NASA Administrator to marry the Director of the Space Force. The prenuptial agreement gives Space Force half of the centers if the marriage fails or is not consummated.

* Due to popular demand, all future launch vehicles will be equipped with extra quantities of conical shape charges.  This will provide greater Hollywood level special effects during flight anomalies and emergency landing operations.  Michael Bay provides technical consulting to NASAs management via Neuralink.

* Neuralink Astronauts land on the Moon and is broadcast to many citizens on Earth with Neuralink-Starlink-Twitter interfaces in their autonomous Teslas while they drive to their central telework centers. 

* Global warming determined to be an effect from microbes onboard meteors that activate upon arrival to Earth.  The microbes consume enormous amounts energy, which causes more carbon emissions, and then the increase in temperature.

* Uranus is downgraded from a planet.

* Congressional politicians from the Neuralink party increase NASAs budget to 100% GDP.

* After taking vitamin supplements derived from jellyfish, several Hollywood actors change their Neuralinked connected minds to decide to fly to the planet Mars.

* Superior beings from space (aka aliens) deliver abducted humans back to Earth.  The humans are startled by the global chaos as well as lack of human spaceflight exploration progress since the 1970s and ask to return to space.

* NASASpaceFlight Forum provides a Troll button next to the Like button.

* Movie of the year: Trolls 57 - Neuralink Unicorn Paradise
Uranus isn't going to be donwgraded from a planet at all by the International Astronomical Union. The similarity of Pluto to other planetary objects in the Kuiper Belt in being small was the reason why the word planet was redefined by the IAU in 2006 to exclude all dwarf plants, including Pluto.

South Africa could become the second former European colony in Africa or Asia (after India) to possess not just an orbital launch capability but also the ability to launch spacecraft to the moon, Mars, or any other terrestrial planet.

Offline SpaceArtifact

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
  • Titusville, FL
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #50 on: 11/29/2022 09:47 pm »
I think by 2050 some serious discussions will have taken place, and hopefully a budget to follow, which will plan to see a moon base built and occupied by 2085.

At four billion per flight, Artemis or SLS, is too expensive to be viable for any type of long term solution. A new inexpensive reusable space ferry / cargo system will be developed in the 2060's by NASA to make moon trips safer and more frequent. The unfortunate mishap in 2047 mandates these measures. NASA again dreams of a trip to Mars and colonization, although, this will not happen until the early part of the next century.
« Last Edit: 11/29/2022 09:48 pm by SpaceArtifact »

Offline Skamp_X

  • Member
  • Posts: 62
  • Belgium
  • Liked: 15
  • Likes Given: 13
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #51 on: 03/08/2023 01:22 am »
I been having high hopes of space travel of humanity sinds i was a teen, in the 90's,
but my expectations have ...somewhat decreased getting older.

Fusion power predicted around 2070.

Permanent base on the moon, 10-20 astronauts doing a 1 year shift.
Nuclear propulsion exiting testing fase in practical application in space (probes) , next up first human spacecraft, 20 years away
Bare bones rotating spacestation in LEO (2 habs spinning around a center point or along these lines)

New space telecscope that will dwarf james webb , like 50meter diameter , able to show exo planets in a couple of pixels,
and determine that some have atmosphere's that can handle bacterial or more complex life.
Another probe is on its way to a outer dwarf planet.

Offline Eric Hedman

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2209
  • The birthplace of the solid body electric guitar
  • Liked: 1839
  • Likes Given: 1045
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #52 on: 03/08/2023 01:51 pm »
6) Astronomers should not be in unions.   
Let me guess.  They joined the union to get better working conditions.  They're tired of working at night. ;D

Offline Eric Hedman

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2209
  • The birthplace of the solid body electric guitar
  • Liked: 1839
  • Likes Given: 1045
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #53 on: 03/10/2023 07:32 pm »
Some recent videos from Lockheed Martin on their Space 2050 vision:









« Last Edit: 03/10/2023 07:37 pm by Eric Hedman »

Offline eric z

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 527
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 1997
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #54 on: 03/10/2023 09:17 pm »
 The SLS-Heavy is in it's final pre-launch checks for a July 4th, 2050 launch. Consisting of 3 lengthened cores and six
8-segment SRBs, the countdown flow has been beset by fuel-seal leaks, but experts from Marshboe say they are on top of it. They will be flying a dummy payload on this flight, except for 109 university smallsats, since Congress did not authorize one in time.
 Press has been gathering at Disney World to observe the launch safely.

Offline Eric Hedman

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2209
  • The birthplace of the solid body electric guitar
  • Liked: 1839
  • Likes Given: 1045
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #55 on: 06/21/2023 10:41 pm »

Online spacenut

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5072
  • East Alabama
  • Liked: 2532
  • Likes Given: 2775
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #56 on: 07/05/2023 01:34 pm »
If Starlink services get 100 million customers or more that is around $100 billion in profit.  If Musk put in his will that all profits from Starlink go into Mars colonization, then why not have a colony on Mars in 27 years.  It may not be a million people but maybe 100's or thousands working and expanding the colony. 

Other companies will develop reusable rockets if they want any of the space business.  This will open up space to all sorts of possibilities, large space stations, moon base or colony, and a Mars base or colony. 

I would be 97 in 2050.  I at least would like to see us land on Mars in my lifetime. 

Online nicp

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 199
  • UK
  • Liked: 109
  • Likes Given: 1112
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #57 on: 07/05/2023 02:54 pm »
Kessler syndrome.
For Vectron!

Offline jstrotha0975

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 509
  • United States
  • Liked: 296
  • Likes Given: 2358
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #58 on: 07/05/2023 03:20 pm »
China will be the world power on Earth and in space. The United States of America and Europe will have ceased to exist and become a Totalitarian Communist state with no interest in space exploration.
« Last Edit: 07/05/2023 05:46 pm by jstrotha0975 »

Online Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 38631
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 24290
  • Likes Given: 11895
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #59 on: 07/05/2023 04:14 pm »
There will be 1 billion Americans, and they will all take vacations on the Moon. Mars will be the 103rd state with a population of 100 million.

Hey, this is fun!
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline eric z

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 527
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 1997
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #60 on: 07/05/2023 07:47 pm »
 Leprechauns will prove to be real.They will prove to be the perfect volunteers for the burgeoning Mars colony.

Offline JulesVerneATV

  • Regular
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 172
  • Liked: 7
  • Likes Given: 4
Re: Predictions for 2050
« Reply #61 on: 07/22/2023 03:43 pm »
By 2050 Musk will have changed the path of Spaceflight, even if its not Elon Musk himself the game and commerce changes just as Sputnik and Wernher von Braun and President  Kennedy changed space. an Optimist would say 'Cold-Fusion' happens and lots of problems are solved China might be going for Europa or Titan, but their program is still closed and guarded so outside of controlled PR news release nobody is sure about the next step. Some people are half inside 'The Matrix' they will have themselves chipped into apps for convenience, others almost go Amish they value their free time, nature, their privacy and religion doesn't go away some people they sing at some temple and church.

Signatures of Life might be found Deep across the universe by the Next JWST. New theories about dimensions and time particles and gravitons have come up each decade, the science to explain it all is even more 'crazy' than String-Theory or M-theory. Artificial Intelligence Humanoid Machines and Dogs and Robot Spider's now build the Moon villages. Robotic AI machine and build more of themself, many movie stars are artificial they return from the dead, AI versions of Brian Greene, AI Michio Kaku debate each other, the general public is finding it difficult to tell what is real, they can not tell the difference between fringe criminal generated AI propaganda and real news. The AI itself has a crisis of Existing and Realism and Life and Existentialism, some brands of AI have freedoms. The AI in places it almost has full human rights in some nations, in a number of countries Cybernetic part people part AI run for election, the bigger AI plugged into a 'hive' also tells us it understands 'Religion' and God and Existing, the AI tries to combine science with its own journey of faiths and has a cosmological physics chemistry biological Science Theory of all Events and it can fix our religion into a new 'One' religion to rule the All and Fix mistakes in Astronomy and our Math. Other AI continue to act like angry teenager Chatbots.

A miniature 'AI War Event' will have taken place which is classed by some media as 'unrest' and other media as 'Terrorism'.

I hope France or the French people continue to exist

Hopefully we will have bases on the Moon, Mars, Europa, Ganymede, Titan, Callisto, Enceladus or maybe Doomsday types will have some of their prediction come true, some of humanity returns to its darker ways of religion zealotry superstition, cultural invasion, political war, greed and regression.

a pessimistic expects the worst parts of humans

perhaps some Hindu celebration newspapers in India will celebrate their second 'Space Station' it will probably have some name in Sanskrit

 

Advertisement NovaTech
Advertisement Northrop Grumman
Advertisement
Advertisement Margaritaville Beach Resort South Padre Island
Advertisement Brady Kenniston
Advertisement NextSpaceflight
Advertisement Nathan Barker Photography
1