Welcome to another edition of Throw Forward Thursday. My name is Graeme Codrington and every Thursday, sometimes Friday, depending on how the week’s going, we jump into the future and find out what might happen, and if it would influence us today. We’re in a mini-series about transportation, and I’m going to end that mini-series.

We’ve looked at everything from flying cars and driverless cars to no more long-haul travel, and we’re going to end with space tourism. This was a topic suggested by Andre Du Toit. Thank you. And for that. And you can make your suggestions at Ask About the Future. Com 

Now, of course, over the last few weeks, if we look backwards in history, we’ve seen some billionaire space Cowboys fulfilling their dreams of getting up into space. We’ve seen SpaceX put an entire non-expert crew into space, in other words, with some reasonable sort of basic training, and then the automation and the ability of technology to basically run the space capsule themselves. You can put people in space who really are not professional astronauts. So, we know that we now have the technology that includes reusable rockets, largescale spaceships, that we can put non trained people into space. And we know that part of the technology is going to be used to reduce the travel time from one end of the planet to the other.

We talked about that a few weeks ago, but of course, space tourism becomes an option. Now, the ability for us to be able to go into space and stay there for a period of time, just for fun, just for the experience. Now, of course, given what our world is like and given the needs of billions of people around the world to just have basic food and shelter, this might feel as if it’s extravagant. It is. And so there would be an ethical and the moral conversation to have. But that aside, the question is, is it even possible? Is it possible that we could create a hotel on the moon or in a space station floating around the world and that reasonably safely people would be able to go there for a few days or weeks at a time? Well, the answer to that question is very simple. Yes, of course, the technology does exist, and we can imagine how it would be done, certainly onto a space station and probably fairly easily onto the surface of the moon, Mars.

As we talked about last week, maybe a little bit of a stretch at the moment in terms of our current technology, getting people there and getting them back. And I’m assuming if you’re going on holiday, you’d like to come back as well. So, the technology exists. Probably the desire exists in many people. And so, in the end, it simply comes down to a should we conversation. And that is probably beyond my pay grade. I think that we should always pursue progress. I think that we should always push our limits and what we learn as we get to the edge of our current limits, we must then use to enhance society as we know it. I think that space tourism would do that. I think the things that we learned by putting more people into space and doing it on a more regular basis and doing it even. Yes, just for a little bit of entertainment would advance and enhance the rest of our lives on Earth. But I can understand why some people might think that that shouldn’t be a priority right now. Is space tourism going to happen?

Yes, it is. Should it happen? That is for each of us to decide. Will we get some benefits out of it? Well, whatever else you think about it, we should insist on that. Space tourism, it’s coming whether you like it or not. Let’s make sure we get the most out of it. Don’t ruin or break anything in the process. And if we can enjoy it. 

Throw Forward Thursday, not always practical, not always ethical conversations and moral decisions to be made, but hopefully always interesting as we consider what the future might be like. And we realised that that future might not be as far away as it sometimes appears.

I’ll see you next week back in the Throw Forward Thursday studio. Make sure that you subscribe and hit the notification buttons to make sure that you don’t forget to join us every Thursday. I’ll see you next week.

Graeme Codrington, is an internationally recognized futurist, specializing in the future of work. He helps organizations understand the forces that will shape our lives in the next ten years, and how we can respond in order to confidently stay ahead of change. Chat to us about booking Graeme to help you Re-Imagine and upgrade your thinking to identify the emerging opportunities in your industry.

For the past two decades, Graeme has worked with some of the world’s most recognized brands, travelling to over 80 countries in total, and speaking to around 100,000 people every year. He is the author of 5 best-selling books, and on faculty at 5 top global business schools.

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