Astronomy

Star Trek could be a Century off from where we will be



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"Star Trek could be a Century off from where we will be"
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The advancement of space transportation systems will determine how much of space we will explore in the future and how rapidly. Let's assume that both Ground/Ship Launch/Propulsion Systems work, the hypersonic spaceplane can fly from the ground out into space, and repulsion-drive engines will send craft hurtling to the stars at hyperlight speed. The first manned landing on mars could take place by 2030. Tourism to the Red Planet may begin within a decade after that.

Systems to moderate the extreme conditions on Venus should be sent there by 2050. By 2070 we could have the first manned landing on that planet. If water can remain on the surfaces of both Venus and Mars by 2070, both planets may be as habitable as earth in various places by the turn of the 22nd century.

Mining the asteroid belt beyond Mars should begin also by 2050 with exploration of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn with robots by 2060. With GSLP, men and material could be sent to the planets and moons of the solar system between 2020 and the middle of the next century. At that time, repulsion-drive powered spaceships will prove to be more practical since the pilots will have more control over their crafts. GSLP will be used to send material into space cheaply and to the moon which by the middle of the next century could have over 100,000 people. If there is an alien base on the back side of the moon, we should be allies by that time and partners in space exploration. Alien involvement could accelerate the time tables for space exploration for mankind. They would be a wild card in our plans.

"Star Trek" could be a century off from where we will be. Instead of the 22nd century being the time when the Federation is founded, it could happen a decade or two sooner. Instead of using matter/anti-matter systems, straight kick-in-the-pants repulsion-drive systems that use both internal and external field repulsion could be used to send crafts to the stars well beyond the speed of light. If this happens, expansion of mankind from earth orbit to the stars could be accelerated.

Geosynch One which would be a space station in geosynchronous orbit could be located above the Atlantic Ocean so that no one nation could claim it as theirs. It may have a permanent population of 100,000 by the middle of the next century and could have a GNP greater than many small nations on earth thanks to mining, manufacturing, energy production and transmission to earth, and tourism mainly. With the moon, Mars, Venus, the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, and the Kuiper Belt having another 150.000 by then, our presense in space will be well-established.

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