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27th November 2021

2038 – Urban air mobility is a trillion-dollar industry

Recent advances in batteries, autonomous systems, and manufacturing processes have led to a boom in urban air mobility.

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future timeline

18th November 2021

2025 – Sample return mission to Kamo'oalewa

In 2025, a Chinese probe arrives at Kamoʻoalewa – the smallest, closest, and most stable known quasi-satellite of Earth. After gathering and returning a surface sample, it then continues on towards comet 311P/PANSTARRS.

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future timeline

16th November 2021

2024 – Bulgaria adopts the euro

On 1st January 2024, Bulgaria adopts the euro as its official currency, becoming the 21st EU member state to do so.

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future timeline

16th November 2021

2023 – Croatia adopts the euro

On 1st January 2023, Croatia adopts the euro as its official currency, becoming the 20th member state of the European Union (EU) to do so – and the first since Lithuania's accession in 2015.

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future timeline

3rd November 2021

2040 – Completion of the Helsinki–Tallinn Tunnel

In 2040, the nations of Finland and Estonia are linked by the longest undersea tunnel ever built.

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28th October 2021

2028-2030 – The Orbital Reef is operational

The Orbital Reef is a low Earth orbit (LEO) space station designed by Blue Origin and Sierra Nevada Corporation, intended for commercial space activities and space tourism uses.

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future timeline

21st October 2021

2027 – The Starlab commercial space station is operational

Starlab is the first ever free-flying commercial space station. It features one-third of the internal volume of the ISS and provides services including materials research, plant growth, and astronaut activity, as well as space tourism.

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future timeline

12th October 2021

2110 – Capital punishment is ending globally

During the 21st century, improvements in education, the empowerment of women, and the ever more connected and globalised nature of society led to greater consideration of human rights. By the early 22nd century, the death penalty is fading from use, even in the Islamic world.

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future timeline

12th October 2021

2038 – Two-thirds of UN member states have abolished the death penalty

By the late 2030s, only around one-third of U.N. member states are retaining support for the death penalty. [update of an older prediction – includes a new graph with data for 2011-2021, plus a future projection to 2040]

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future timeline

23rd September 2021

2045 – An inflection point for human-AI interactions

By 2045, robots are widespread in everyday society. Similar to how touchscreen smartphones moved from science fiction to reality some 40 years earlier, these machines are quickly becoming accepted as a normal part of life. Some of the most advanced humanoid models have gained extremely lifelike appearances.

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4th September 2021

2035-2085 – The Einstein Telescope is operational

The Einstein Telescope is a gravitational wave observatory designed to last 50 years, with 10 times the sensitivity of any previous instrument. It generates unprecedented new data on black holes and neutron stars, as well as the nature and history of the Universe.

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future timeline

17th August 2021

2036 – Supercomputers reach the zettascale

Supercomputers are now 1,000 times more powerful than in 2021 – enabling faster, more accurate and larger-scale models in astrophysics, biology, climate science and many other areas.

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future timeline

16th August 2021

2090-2110 – Photosynthetic humans

Following many decades of research, a number of human-plant chimeras are moving from the laboratory into clinical and commercial use. Among the treatments now available is a technique for merging chloroplasts with human skin.

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27th July 2021

2035-2050 – The next ESA Large-class missions

During this period, the European Space Agency (ESA) deploys the next trio of "Large"-class missions – a robotic lander to drill into the surface of Europa, a new space telescope for observing the galactic core and temperate exoplanets, and a major new gravitational wave observatory for studying the very early Universe.

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future timeline

27th July 2021

2030-2033 – NASA's Europa Clipper mission searches for life

The Europa Clipper is a Flagship-class mission to study Europa. With a large payload of nine instruments, it performs an extremely detailed analysis of the moon's crust and subsurface ocean, looking for signs of life.

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future timeline

27th July 2021

2029-2034 – Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) explores the Jovian system

[Update of an older prediction. Now includes the confirmed mission timeline, some new details, and a video. Moved from 2030 to 2029.]

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future timeline

21st July 2021

2032 – Brisbane hosts the Summer Olympic Games

In July and August 2032, Australia hosts the summer Olympic Games for the third time in its history.

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7th July 2021

2034 – EnVision makes orbital insertion at Venus

EnVision, a spacecraft developed by the European Space Agency, is the latest in a series of missions sent to study Venus during the 2030s.

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future timeline

29th June 2021

2057 – Smart clothing is a trillion-dollar industry

Having been a small and niche segment of the market in earlier decades, smart clothes are now becoming ubiquitous in many apparel and footwear ranges.

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22nd June 2021

2067 – Fully automated container vessels at 50,000 TEU

Container ships have continued to grow in size over the decades. The largest are now reaching half a kilometre in length and carry more than twice the capacity of vessels in 2020.

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