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Of course, no one can predict with 100% accuracy how the future will unfold, but by combining present day knowledge with anticipated advances, we can make plausible guesses about what to expect in 2042.
“However, the biggest boon to space travel may be the Space Elevator…”
Thrust systems like Ad Astra’s VASIMR VX-200 are great in the vacuum of space, however, any thrust system is less efficient in overcoming Earth’s gravity than the space elevator.
Granted, the SE could take one week to haul a cargo load to a geostationary orbit, but the low costs make the time well spent.
But these new thrust systems will one day shorten time on trips to other star systems, enabling humanity to scatter its populations to the stars.
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