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1983 vs 2019: how Isaac Asimov described SpaceWay

1/24/19
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Thinkers and writers have always dreamed of a better, perfect society, and a life in harmony with nature. Even 2.5 thousand years ago, Plato, seeing the imperfection of Athens, was seeking for the perfect world, which was embodied in Atlantis. Later on, the Renaissance ideas were expressed in «Utopia» by Thomas More.

The science fiction writers of the new and modern time were also searching in their works solutions of topical problems, addressing for solutions to science and technology. They had «invented» a pocket phone (1948), a self-tuning receiver (1942 ), a car, capable of parking itself (1941); Solar Batteries (1940), and much more, before science and technology reached a level of development that would allow these ideas to be embodied into reality.

There were also more global problems that worried people: for example, the negative impact of man on nature.   In fact, in the literature of the XX and XXI century, there was expressed the fear of humanity before itself – before the uncontrolled growth of the population, dangerous development of technologies, destruction of environment. The rate of growth of the population of the planet exceeds the rate of development of the civilization: already today, about 1 billion people live below the poverty line, even more people do not have access to quality products and water. And we continue to roll our planet into asphalt, poison the Earth with thousands of tons of toxic waste. The situation will not change by itself. The solution for such global problems is being developed by the SkyWay project: its comprehensive approach includes not only the creation of the ground-based transport system of the new formation, but also the development of the General Planetary Vehicle, as well as the work on a number of agro-technological and information projects.

The ideas of Anatoliy Yunitskiy in many aspects echo with Isaac Asimov’s reflections on the future. He was a great visionary, popularizer of science and author of three laws of robotics. 35 years ago, a dozen years after the idea of the Planetary Vehicle originated, he told in his interview to the edition Star about the disastrous consequences of the development of the civilization.

In his projections for 2019, Azimov notes that governments will not be able to escape the fact that no world problem can be resolved as long as the situation is exacerbated by population growth. The consequences of human irresponsibility will become more obvious and unbearable, attempts to cope with them will become more tense. As Isaac Asimov said 35 years ago, the humanity could only hope that by 2019advances in technology would have provided us with tools to help accelerate the process by which environmental degradation would be reversed. The tools that the great science fiction writer says about are as follows: the technology of computerization, the change of education system and the industrial exploration of space.

«And although it seems incredibly optimistic to assume that the world can change in this direction in just 35 years (of course, only by changing and not necessarily completely reaching this change), you should add the last ingredient in this dish: the use of space…»

The role of the global space project, according to Azimov (and according to Yunitskiy, by the way) is much wider than simply the transportation of goods from Earth into orbit:

«Such structures will be by themselves a guarantee of world peace and further cooperation among peoples. Energy will be so necessary for all and so freely delivered only if peoples preserve peace and work together, and war will simply be unthinkable – on people's demand. In addition, in space, there will be built the observatories to immeasurably expand our knowledge of the universe; as well as the laboratories where the experiments, which can be unsafe or impossible on the surface of the Earth» can be conducted

In the main aspects, Isaac Azimov's and Anatoliy Yunitkiy's ideals about necessity of industrialization of space &ndash coincide:

«The most important thing in its practical sense, would be the construction of plants that could use the special properties of space: high and low temperatures, rigid radiation, unlimited vacuum, zero gravity — to create objects that can be difficult or impossible to fabricate on Earth »

Of course, Asimov's predictions about the timing of the implementation of the idea of the near space exploration, appeared to be too optimistic. The construction of space settlements is still in the far prospects, although the project –SpaceWay– is already being developed.   

«In fact, in the 2019 year, there may even appear the projects to launch into orbit entire industries. Then, the Earth will be able to get rid of the side effects of industrialization, without actually losing its necessary benefits. Industrial plants will disappear, having moved only a few thousand miles upwards. And humanity, not just its constructions, will eventually end up in space. By 2019 year, the first space settlement should be already designed and, possibly, will be under construction»

***

From ancient Greeks to Isaac Asimov – science fiction writers have always motivated and directed the development of science and technology. Many of their ideas have already been implemented, even more of them – are only to be realized. One of such ideas is the General Planetary Vehicle. The work on its implementation is already underway, and, as history shows, even such a bold project is destined to be embodied: if there is a problem – there will be a solution.

< p>The illustrations used, are the works of Klaus Bürgle, Hugo Gernsback, Anatoliy Yunitskiy and the team of SkyWay project designers

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