FutureSource



FutureSource

Recent advancements in space technology and commercial space industry promise to spur a dramatic surge in space tourism and research in the coming decades. While space enthusiasts might celebrate the news by calculating whether their retirement funds can be made over as space-jump funds, the bureaucratically-inclined have a good reason to worry: the current system of international governance isn’t capable of coping with a congested orbit.

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Faced with deep cuts in its operating budget, NASA has undertaken efforts to broaden international cooperation and establish a domestic commercial space industry. With the space shuttle now retired, NASA needs a way to get large amounts of cargo and personnel into space, and private companies are the only ticket up. 

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It is common knowledge that increasing societal complexity (i.e., interdependence and interconnectedness) is challenging the fundamental business models of an ever-growing range of industries. Thus, the entertainment, technology, manufacturing, information—the list could go on and on—industries are all under pressure to change the ways they think.

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“Disruptive change” that produces “strategic shocks” has become an increasing concern for policymakers, shaken by momentous events of the last couple of decades that were not on their radar screens – from the fall of the Berlin Wall and the 9/11 terrorist attacks to the 2008 financial crisis and the “Arab Spring.”

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