Tuesday, January 19, 2010

 

Space Exploration: How Much Longer?

Back in 2005, I predicted that “in a few years the ISS will become an uninhabited hulk orbiting a planet beset by energy wars.” Well, it’s at least a few years later, and the space station is still inhabited, so my timing was a little off on that one (although the energy wars started some time ago). Nevertheless, I stick by my predictions that future space exploration will be limited to science fiction novels, and that the ISS will be abandoned.

A USA Today article, “Has USA hit its final frontier in human space exploration?,” discusses the constraints on space exploration by recent circumstances. It provides us with a window on the declining prospects for space exploration, and the beginning of the end for national and international space programs. So it’s only a matter of time until the ISS indeed becomes an “uninhabited hulk.” As international conflicts escalate, all governments with the ability to launch payloads into orbit will be concentrating those resources on spy satellites and other military applications.

The article also touches on the expectations for the commercial space business, but in a world put on an increasingly austere energy diet, there’s no reason to believe that it has much of a future.



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