The decade ended with the announcement of a new mission back to the moon, which is just one of the many missions that are planned to make history this next decade. Here is what humanity has to look forward to.
As we approach 2020, the heated technology conflict between the U.S. and China shows no signs of a thaw. U.S. President Trump’s campaign against leading Chinese technology firms--including but not only Huawei--may have grabbed the headlines, but there is also China banning most leading U.S. consumer content-based technologies, Russia architecting its sovereign internet, political pressure on western tech players over international research collaboration.
On Earth and in space, NASA had a busy decade in the 2010s. In its human spaceflight program, the agency retired the space shuttle and is now close to launching humans to space again, this time on commercial crew vehicles. NASA also changed its long-term destination for humans a few times; currently the agency is targeting the moon and Mars.
Three lunar missions, commercial spaceflight milestones, the first all-woman spacewalk -- 2019 was a busy year in space for public and private entities alike. NASA looked forward to new moon landings while celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. SpaceX launched its first commercial crew spacecraft and lofted a miniature prototype of its massive Starship vehicle. Planetary missions began and ended, sometimes much sooner than planned.
Most U.S. workers feel that their jobs are relatively safe from automation in the next decade, according to a new survey. But some questions remain about whether workers understand the difference between the terms ‘robots’ or ‘automation’, which can imply artificial-intelligence algorithms that automate tasks within an office.
The US is edging ever closer to regulating its giant, world-famous tech companies. But even as lawmakers in DC spar with the likes of Google and Facebook over potential overreach, European regulators have already been busy. And there are no signs of stopping next year.
For over two decades, OTA helped Congress to navigate complex science and technology issues. After its defunding in 1995--a casualty of Congress’s dramatic downsizing--the issues piled up. What to do about the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel? Should the federal government invest more or less in carbon capture and sequestration? What to make of 5G and CRISPR? Of AI and AVs? Congress’s experts disappeared, but the issues didn’t.
Boeing's Starliner spacecraft made a soft touch down in the desert of New Mexico early Sunday. It marked the end of a tense two-day effort to return the vehicle to Earth after unexpected issues plagued its inaugural flight to orbit, forcing it to make an early return. The spacecraft launched an uncrewed test flight on Friday but had to abort its mission to dock with the International Space Station when it failed to put itself on the right trajectory.
As organizations increasingly implement automated technologies, artificial intelligence and other new technologies, a panel of workforce experts argued before House representatives Wednesday for a series of innovative and preemptive actions Congress and employers should take to prevent technology-driven displacement of workers.
The solution Brookings researchers propose? Government intervention. They argue that the federal government should create eight to 10 regional “growth centers” in the U.S. heartland. According to them, each area should receive $700 million in direct R&D funding each year for the next 10 years. In addition, each should get workforce development funding of $5 million per year, plus exemptions from certain regulations, and other benefits, for a total 10-year cost of about $100 billion.