Space science and technologies: humankind beyond its limits

Space, unlike extreme environments on Earth such as desserts, deep sea, high mountains, arctic areas, and now over-polluted urban areas, is still a new challenge for humans and a new frontier for its existence. Despite our technological advances in exploring space, and the knowledge we have acquired from this activity, we still lack true experience since this has been performed mostly by machine probes rather than our own bodies. Very few people have “tasted” the space environment, and with this we mean staying for limited periods in a microgravity environment such as on ISS. Although this involved extending the residence times of our astronauts very slowly, still and by far we did not make the experience disruptive.

Expectations from space are high in acquiring more new experiences and knowledge, also in finding new material resources (i.e., through space mining with the hope that it will possibly prevent additional damage to our over-exploited planet). Space will also be disruptive in our cultural and political behaviour, depleting the meanings and definitions of related contemporary terminologies, such as nationalism and internationalism, globalisation, minority, immigration. We also expect new ethics rules and law systems to be invented.

Taking the development of telecommunications as an example, and as a consequence of that the development of information technologies, all previous claims seem fully justified but in which respect? We believe that the greatest disruption in this endeavour of the humankind is expected to be in the requirement to modify our biological clock and our linear way of thinking. Maybe our current anticipations are truly limited, and this we will try to exploit during this presentation.