It’s been 55 years since satellite communications became the first commercial space frontier, and space tourism is looming as the next frontier. But what comes after that? Would you believe in-space mining and manufacturing?
Those are the opportunities that came to the fore on July 29 when members of the Association of Professional Futurists gathered at Seattle’s Museum of Flight.
“The big change that I foresee is when we begin to live and work on the asteroids, using them as the resources for our civilization. … We are going to see a leap in productivity to create wealth and to allow us to do things without harming the Earth,” said Brian Tillotson, who is the systems technology chief engineer for Boeing Research and Technology and a Boeing senior technical fellow (as well as a science-fiction writer).
“It’s going to be much bigger than the industrial revolution, and this time it’s going to be good for the Earth, not bad for the Earth,” Tillotson said.