Ten Predictions for Space Exploration in the 21st Century

Last week the front-page of newspapers all over the world announced that Ultima Thule, a snowman-shaped object located 6.5-billion km from Earth, had been finally approached by Nasa’ New Horizons probe, becoming this way the farthest body in the Solar System to be visited by a spacecraft.

Looking at the gorgeous pictures of the rock, floating silently beyond Pluto, I could only think how far we have come in the exploration of space since we launched the first space probes just over 60 years ago. If we have done so much in just a few decades, what could the skies be holding for us in what remains of this century? As Yogi Berra put it, “it’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future” so I claim neither exceptional foresight nor particular creativity for this list of ten predictions that I wrote down when trying to answer that question:

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What worries me the most about technology

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Black Mirror is a TV show in Netflix that has gained a cult status among its millions of followers due to its unique way of portraying the future. Its episodes tell unrelated stories that take place in a variety of future versions of our world but where we can recognize perfectly well elements of our own reality. Black Mirror is an exercise of creative extrapolation, in which specific technologies that are now in their infancy are unfolded to their maximum range and potential, proposing a series of questions about their purpose and their impact in our life. Its creator, Charlie Brooker, was the keynote speaker on a conference I attended last week and he shared insights into his creative process to write the stories, his sources for inspiration and his personal views about the future.

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