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Entries in space colony (27)

Monday
Jul042011

Dear People of the Year 2076 (1976)

The 1970s was a tough decade for America. As we saw in the second episode of paleofuture.tv, many people were predicting apocalypse. But in 1976, it seems Americans were determined to hold their heads up high and celebrate 200 years of a country that was experiencing some major growing pains. If there's one thing Americans know how to do well, it's throw a party. And the U.S. Bicentennial was supposed to be one hell of a party.

On July 4, 1976 newspapers all across America dedicated special sections to the history and future of the country. The Grand Prairie Daily News in Grand Pairie, Texas invited readers to write letters to the people of 2076, who would presumably be celebrating the United States Tricentennial. Today we have some of those letters from high school students of the year 1976. What's pretty clear in reading the letters is that even most high school kids weren't very optimistic about what the next hundred years had in store for them.

[I've redacted the number that appears under Mike Sharp's letter because it looks like a Social Security number. I'm not sure why Mike would include his Social Security number, but I'd rather not create any unnecessary problems for ol' Mike, because most of these people are probably alive today.]

The drawing above was made by little Lisa Givlar in 1976 and appeared in The Tricentennial Report

 

Dear People of the Year 2076,

In the year 2076, the world will be far ahead in space travel and modern technalogy. There will be space flights to other planets.

Machines will take over, modern man will become a living blobb.

California will not be on the map and the weather will change through out the world.

Hungar will strike Asia and Europe. The civilization of 2076 will depend upon the polluted sea waters for food.

Nuclear enery will supply our needs.

Population control will be put into affect. The world will be over populous.

Schools wll be television programs. This may all seem funny to you but I remember a time when space travel was all just a dream.

 

Earthling,

Pat Bentley

 

 

To the people of the year 2076,

In a hundred years I think the world will be overpopulated and people will have to live in apartments to accomodate for this. Everything will be able to be recycled and what little that can't will be shot out into space.

 

From

Greg Redding

 

Many things will change some good some bad. But most of all I hope that the people of the year 2076 still love and protect the United States and what it stands for. This world is tough, but I am glad to be born in a place such as America were I can say what I please.

 

Sincerely,

A South Grand Prairie High Warrior

[unreadable] Allen 

 

I believe 100 years from now, ("1976") the year I graduate, crime will be wiped out completely. There will be some kind of magnetic force field to stop anyone from doing something illeagle.

Someday in the future I hope the world will not need army's, but I doubt that day will come. There will be new weapons being built all the time. I feel that the wars will be push button wars not on the battefield with hand-to-hand combat.

We probably have traveled to new planets and had started new colonies. Concerts and music is something important in my life, but I doubt it will be in the future.

I hope the world is at peace, and I wish all of you Americans the best of luck.

 

Mike Sharp

 

To: Whomever,

I'm suppose to write what I think the world will be like in 100 years. Well, honestly, I doubt if the world will even exist. The earth will probably destroy itself by then with a nuclear war.

The people of today just can't get along together, or even seem to be trying. But if by some miracle, and it would be a miracle, man still exists 100 years from now, I'm hoping the world will be a peaceful place. Maybe man will have learned to live in harmony with nature. Instead of polluting the air and sea. Maybe all the countries of the world will destroy their weapons and love their fellow man. This would be a great accomplisment and I'm wishing you all the luck in the world.

 

Maura McDonald

 

There is one thing specifically I would not like to see in the year 2076 and that is war and hostility of any kind. Peace is an all important thing the people of Earth must learn in order to progress and survive.

I truly wish humanity knows what to do with itself.

 

Spirit of 76 Bi Centennial

Yours truly

Bobby Jack 

Wednesday
Mar032010

Lunar Colonies of the Future (1969)

The May, 1969 issue of Science Journal features an article by Dr. Rodney Wendell Johnson about lunar colonies of the future. Dr. Johnson was the Advanced Planner for NASA's Advanced Manned Mission Program Office. The illustrations by Roy G. Scarfo that accompany the article are pretty amazing.

(Please excuse the semi-blurred scans. The magazine is too big to fit comfortably on my scanner and frankly I'm too lazy to scan it in pieces for you. Listen, you complain any more and I'll turn this rocket ship right around! I swear!)

[The illustration above] shows a semi-permanent base, a six man shelter landed by a direct flight from Earth and coupled to an expandable laboratory in the foreground.

Early lunar bases would grow from Apollo hardware. The picture [above], depicts Apollo lunar modules; that in the background carries a shelter and the other has landed a one man roving vehicle with a range of 8 km. This system would permit 14 day scientific missions in 1971-72, including geological drilling to about 35 m.

 

[UPDATE: Thanks to Winchell Chung for tracking down the illustrator of these great pieces as Roy G. Scarfo, who also illustrated the book Beyond Tomorrow: The Next 50 Years in Space.]

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

Saturday
Oct032009

Moon Settlement by 2007 (1985)

The February, 1985 issue of The Futurist magazine featured a piece about a permanent settlement on the moon by 2007.

NASA envisions the completion of a permanent settlement on the moon by the year 2007, the fiftieth anniversary of the space age. The final design of the base should be completed by the early 1990s, and construction might begin by the end of the decade.

The lunar base was the topic of a recent three-day conference in Washington, D.C., that brought together scientists, engineers, former astronauts, anthropologists, and lawyers to discuss the future of the space program.

The moon settlement would be the home of scientists and perhaps workers from private industry, NASA officials say. The base might be an international project, including Europeans, Japanese, and Soviets.

The shuttle now operates on a relatively steady schedule, ferrying aloft a variety of experiments as well as scientists. NASA is also moving forward on plans for a permanently manned space station, due for completion in the early 1990s. These two programs are major steps toward establishing the lunar base. The shuttle would fly material and personnel to low earth orbit, and transfer them to the space station, which would serve as a "halfway house" between earth and moon. Objects brought to the space station by the shuttle would transfer into another reusable craft for the trip into higher orbits and eventually to the moon.

The lunar base will probably be built mostly underground to protect the crew from cosmic radiation; unlike earth, the moon has no protective atmosphere to stop cosmic rays. The crew will number about one dozen; stays would vary between three months and one year, and the facility would be permanently staffed.

Transport will be expensive and supplies costly. A pound of water brought to the moon today would cost as much as a pound of gold on earth. Fortunately, the moon is rich in many elements. Most of the materials needed for the base are available on the moon itself; over half the moon, for example, is made up of oxygen. Titanium, silicon, and aluminum are also found in abundance. But hydrogen - an essential constituent of water - is missing. Unless water is locked away at the lunar poles in the form of ice, this important element will have to be supplied from earth in order for the crew to have water.

Previously on Paleo-Future:

Saturday
Jun272009

The Martian Base (1951)

This painting by Leslie Carr, based on a drawing by R.A. Smith, appears in the 1951 book The Exploration of Space by Arthur C. Clarke. Eighteen years before Man would set foot on the moon, the image depicts a Martian colony of the future, similar to those which would show up later in the 1957 Disneyland TV episode, Mars and Beyond.

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

Monday
May042009

Toroidal Space Colony of the Future (1982)

This image appears in the 1982 book Walt Disney's Epcot Center: Creating the New World of Tomorrow. One thing I find curious about the illustration is that it appears to be of a toroidal (or circular) space station, but you can see what looks like sailboats in the water. My simplistic (child-like, really) understanding of toroidal space colonies leads me to believe that they spin to simulate gravity. But how could there be anything resembling wind within them? Someone smarter than myself, please enlighten us all.

Previously on Paleo-Future:

Tuesday
Apr072009

Space Colonies of the Year 2000 (1979)

In the 1979 book Star Wars Question and Answer Book About Space R2-D2 and C-3PO take young readers through space, explaining different types of telescopes, the search for UFOs, exploding stars, and future space colonies! The image below is described as a space colony that humans could be living in by the year 2000! The book contains other illustrations of space colonies but we've already looked at them here.

NASA pictures a space colony that humans could buildin 22 years. Shaped like a wheel, it has room for 10,000 people inside. It circles Earth 250,000 miles out in space - as far away as the moon! The structure keeps spinning to create artificial gravity inside.

The space colony has its own air sealed in tight against space. It carries its own water supply, which can be cleaned and used over and over again. Sunshine provides light and power. A large turning paddle helps remove heat that is not needed.

Babies will be born, children will go to school, and adults will work in the space colony. It will have homes, schools, hospitals, and stores. Farms will provide plants and animals for food. There will be factories where clothes and other necessities will be made.

If we started this project right away, humans could have a colony in space soon after the year 2000!

Previously on Paleo-Future:

Sunday
Nov232008

Vacation at a Space Hotel (1982)


The The Kids' Whole Future Catalog really is a treasure trove of 1980's futurism. Today we have a letter from Jenny, writing her friend Susan about the amazing space hotel she's visiting in the year 2002. Having graduated high school in the year 2002, I'm a little disappointed that my graduation ceremony wasn't held at a space hotel, complete with space pool and the accompanying physics that go along with that.

April 16, 2002

 

Dear Susan,

We arrived at the space hotel yesterday, and the first thing I did was try out the swimming pool. It really is as much fun as everyone says, but the low gravity takes getting used to. Everything happens more slowly than usual - you feel as though you're part of a movie that's being show in slow motion. When you jump off the diving board, you can easily do two or three somersaults before you hit the water - and when you do go in, you leave a hole which takes a few seconds to fill up. The pool doesn't look anything like the ones on Earth. It's like an enormous barrel with water lining the inside. The barrel rotates very slowly, creating just enough force to keep the water pushed up against the sides. When you're in the pool, you can see water curving uphill and people swimming upside down overhead. As if that isn't strange enough, you can also see people floating through the air in the zero-g area at the center of the barrel. To get there, all you have to do is jump high off the diving board and flap your arms like wings. If you hold a paddle in each hand, it's easier to steer. I want to tell you about all the other things I've done, but there isn't time. I'll write again tomorrow.

Love, Jenny


Read more:
Vacations of the Future (1981)
Moon Tourism (1988)
Welcome to Moonbase (1987)
The Kids' Whole Future Catalog (1982)
Factories in Space (1982)
New Worlds to Radically Alter (1981)