50 Years of Space Travel

April 14, 2011 - 1 Comment

FIFTY years have elapsed since Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin lit the blue touchpaper on the era of manned spaceflight. Progress was rapid—only eight years separated Gagarin’s flight from the infinitely more complicated mission that put Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the surface of the moon in 1969.

The Economist

This week marks 50 years since Yuri became the first human in space, and there were many predictions as to what the we are living in now would look like with the advent of space flight. Some predictions have been more accurate than others. In 1911 Thomas Edison quite accurately predicted that by the year 2011 the traveller of the future will:

fly through the air, swifter than any swallow, at a speed of two hundred miles an hour, in colossal machines, which will enable him to breakfast in London, transact business in Paris and eat his luncheon in Cheapside.

A group of children in 1985 in the US were asked what they thought life would be like in the year 2000 and many of them offered answers that included living on other planets, being taught be robots and living on farms. Although we may not be living in on Jupiter, have floating space cities or have robots as servants, as people may have predicted for this era, we do have many new technologies that improving the quality of life and the work-life balance for everyone.

This footage, partially archive and partially modern video, shows the prediction of collaborative and remote working tools quite accurately. For the most part many people in many different disciplines are able to work from anywhere in the world, are able to connect with friends, family and colleagues regardless of location.

Those making the predictions obviously thought that these advancements would be beneficial to our daily lives, and evidently they have been and still are. But the big question is, where will we be in 50 years from now? Are people still predicting that we will be living in space, or have people become dissolutioned by that idea? Are we thinking more about how technology, rather than space, will enable us to live more freely? What are the values that will be important to us in 50 years?

Comment in the box below to let us know what your view of the future looks like.

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  1. well done to space travel, one large step for mankind