Oct 18 2009

Europe and Russia See the New Space Age Coming

Based on historical Maslow Window timing of the last 200 years, the world is just over 5 years from the anticipated opening of the new Space Age, a Golden Age of Prosperity, Exploration, and Technology, as exemplified by the 1960s Apollo decade and the early 20th Century Peary/Panama Window.

The Europeans envision the expansion of human civilization into the cosmos.
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Impressive, albeit painful supportive evidence appeared recently in the form of the financial Panic of 2008 and the current global recession which interrupted the “Greatest Economic Boom Ever” in 2007 (see Fortune, July, 23 2007). This “Great Boom/Panic/Great Recession” sequence is a common feature of the decade just before Maslow Windows over the last 200 years (except for the 1960s Apollo Window); thus the Panic of 2008 also supports the forecast that the next Maslow Window should arrive near 2015.

Indeed, no Maslow Window of the last 200 years has ever been delayed or in any way observably diminished by the Great Boom/Panic/Great Recession sequence, because the Great Boom is always reignited as the recession ends.

If this grand, 200+ year-old pattern is continuing today, then despite our great recession, we should witness the great space powers positioning themselves — financially, strategically, technologically — for the coming new Space Age. And they are.

Russia announced recently that they are planning a major, new space center — Vostochny Cosmodrome — in Amur Oblast of the Russian Far East, just north of China. This will allow Russia to launch all its payloads from its own territory; Baikoneur is in Kazahkstan and is leased by Russia.

Construction will begin in 2011 and be completed by 2018, as the 2015 Maslow Window gains full momentum. This is a major endeavor. It will have 7 launch pads, including 2 for manned flights. Over 20,000 people will work there. The announced cost is $ 13.5 B; this is over twice the initial cost (in current dollars) of Kennnedy Space Center that was built in the 1960s for the Apollo Moon program.

Europeans are also excited about the human future in space. The European Space Agency announced this week that high-level representatives from 29 European Space Agency and European Union Member States will meet in Prague on 23 October for the 1st EU-ESA International Conference on Human Space Exploration. It’s purpose is “to prepare a roadmap leading to the definition of a common vision and strategic planning for space exploration … Besides Ministers and delegates from the EU, ESA and third countries, the conference will also be attended by Members of Parliament and representatives of industry and academia.”

ESA is understandably proud of its achievements in human spaceflight including Spacelab, and the Columbus lab on the International Space Station. Another enviable highlight is that “ESA has carried out the farthest landing in the solar system so far with the successful Huygens mission on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon.” We can expect that their future vision will be Solar System-wide.

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