Continued from my last post, 2075, I thought I might follow through with another installment of my vision of the future.
In the year 2100, I will be 113 years old, though I will look about 60 because of medical solutions to many problems faced with aging discovered decades before.
I will live together with my wife of 83 years in a small house where we will entertain our perpetually youthful children, grandchildren, and great grand children when they make visits. We will fail to impress them with stories of the age when people still grew old, you had to go to the store to buy cheap plastic stuff, and there was a huge flotilla of plastic waste floating in the Pacific ocean because of bad waste management policy. They won’t believe any of it.
The world, though still terribly divided, will have largely coalesced into a group of myriad states who pool resources in order to solve the problem of linear population growth, already checked from previous generations when it was growing at an exponential rate. Many solutions involve instituting reproductive management policies, though opponents will push for faster work on extraterrestrial colonization.
In depth scientific surveys have already been carried out on Venus, Mars, and the more hospitable moons of Jupiter regarding geology, exobiology, chemistry, and candidacy for colonization or terraforming.
The space elevator project will be just finished and the queue for corporate use is millions of tasks long, already filled to capacity for over two-hundred years. Due to demand for use other space elevator projects are planned as well, but most will be waiting for actual test-loads to finish before executing their own modified designs.
Two thousand start-up businesses will have taken out loans for off-planet industry, banking on effective success of the elevator and modern advances in near-vacuum, microgravity manufacturing. Orbital trash pickup is now a major activity carried out by interstate governments.
Fundamentalist groups, especially some of those claiming Christian and Muslim faith will pose a small but troubling threat to the social well-being of the interstate community, and will threaten violence because their views strongly oppose those of the majority. Governments will tolerate their freedom to express displeasure in the public forum but will refuse to tolerate any direct threats of violence or intimidation.
Many propositions for direct energy harvesting from the sun will have been proposed and progress will be stalled in interstate government forums because of varying values and interests, but energy demands will soon require action after the space elevator has been completed. The interstate community will begin entertaining discussions regarding extra-solar exploration and setting up a network of deep space probe factories to transmit data about the interstellar medium and feasibility of connecting a long distance radio network to manage the probes.
Everyone will wish there was a solution to the impossible spans of space and time between stars, but will come up short, quite literally. Tiny particles will be transmitted in ways which make the speed of light restriction irrelevant, but the technology will fail to scale into terms useful for transportation. On the bright side, with the medical outlooks regarding aging and consciousness transfer the prospect of hundreds of years in space seem less dim than they once did.
In traditional transportation terms, faster and faster speeds are being attained using near-vacuum, microgravity launches and gravity slingshots, combining mass fusion thrust with rail-gun technology, however manned travel requires much more gradual acceleration using state of the art ion engines which will approach light speed over the course of several decades.
The population of Earth will begin to feel as though they are on the brink of a new age of exploration, where dauntless souls will make intrepid and unprecedented flights into the void without waiting for the decades it will take to get data back from the not yet launched probe network.