Paleo-Future? Or Futurus-Future?

I can't remember who first introduced me to it, but Paleo-Future has become one of my favorite just-for-fun blogs. For any of you who have never visited before, the site basically collects old and out-dated visions of what the future will look like, providing an implied comparison against what actually occurred. The blog's subtitle pretty much sums it up: A LOOK INTO THE FUTURE THAT NEVER WAS.

In the past two weeks, space themes have dominated the posts, which probably says something about the state of my beloved industry. Three posts worth a read: Vacation at a Space Hotel (1982), Jet Pack Dreams, and Exploring Space (1958). Each post is filled with classic, beautiful illustrations and videos--great eye candy.

It's certainly true that the space industry hasn't really followed the curve people expected in the early space age, when it seemed another record was broken or milestone passed with every passing week. The "where's my flying car?" phenomenon is just as prevalent among those of us who work in the industry as it is for the fans and non-fans in the general populace. (Heck, for that matter, where's my regularly scheduled Pan-Am flight to the Moon?)

But hey, it's important to recognize that there is some pretty cool stuff going on in the industry right now. HOw much would the competitors in the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge boggle the minds of the author and illustrator who drew the page at right? Or how about Bigelow Aerospace and the Space Hotels book? And didn't I see a jetpack at the 2006 X PRIZE Cup?

So, my hat's off to both the dreamers who envisioned this stuff decades ago and to the inventors who are making it happen today.

Anonymous said...


Paolo Amoroso said...

These technologies that never were still live in the new designs and careers of the countless engineers and scientists they inspired.

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