Future Predictions of Famous Scientist Desmond King-Hele

About scientist Demond King-Hele and some of his predictions for the future of space, technology and science.


A leading authority on earth satellites, Desmond King-Hele is deputy chief scientific officer of the Royal Aircraft Establishment in England. He graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge, with 1st-class honors in mathematics in 1948. A fellow of the Royal Society and of the Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications, he is also a member of the International Academy of Astronautics and of the Council of World Bureaus of Satellite Geodesy. He is the author of several books on satellites.

Past Predictions: No record.

Future Predictions: For 1981-1990

--If overuse of antibiotics continues, by 1980 germs may have a virulence that would have taken 1,000 years to develop under natural conditions.

--The moon will be the main sphere of operations in space.

--Accurate working models for computer weather forecasting will determine the effects of removing Arctic ice and damming the Bering Strait.

--Scientists will have found out more about sleep, and ways will be available whereby people can get along on less sleep.

--By 1980, people's real earnings will increase by 20%.

For 1991-2000-Slave robots are likely to appear. It also may be possible to devise a way for a disembodied brain to be kept alive so that it can give instruction to a robot which will act as its body.

--Three-dimensional color television, with smell, touch, and taste added, may be available by the 1990s.

--We will be sensible enough to reduce birth rates so that the world population in 2000 will be only 6 billion. It will be possible to feed these billions through an increased yield per acre, fish farming, and other means.

--By 2000, air travel will be 15 times faster than in 1970, delivering passengers anywhere in the world within 2 hours of takeoff. Trains may be replaced with continuous teleporters with individual "cabins" which are gradually speeded up, traveleators, or horizontal escalators.

--Men may land on Mars before the end of the century.

--Adhesive tape will be strong enough to take care of all household repairs, and shoes will last a human lifetime.

--Watches will be accurate within 1/5 of a second a year.

--There will be more efficient methods of treating cancer, heart attacks, strokes, malnutrition, rheumatism, and the common cold, though these diseases will not necessarily be eradicated.

--By 2000, it might be possible to inject new knowledge into the brain, and rudimentary brain-computer links are likely to have been devised.

No Dates Given--A natural catastrophe-such as a change in the sun's radiation or a collision of the earth with an asteroid-is possible.

--A radio "transceiver," as small as a wrist-watch, will be used as a miniature portable telephone.

--In new cities, transportation will be provided by small publicly-owned electric cars, into which the driver can insert a coin for use for a certain number of miles. Roads will be devised which will control the speed of traffic so that the driver will not have to "drive" but will, instead, be on automatic pilot.

--Other transportation will be provided by pneumatic trains blown along transparent tubes by compressed air, by monorails, by hover-trains, by rocket trains.

--Lunar bases will be used as research centers, and as resorts where those with physical difficulties can feel well again because of the low gravity.

--In orbits near earth, large manned space stations, used as staging posts for moon journeys, will shine at night. Smaller satellites will give minute details about weather.

--It may be possible to use huge mirrors on satellites to concentrate heat and disperse clouds at selected places; to run a huge double pipe from Britain to the Sahara, in order to exchange desert heat for cool English air; to equalize the distribution of sunlight and rain over all latitudes between 30 deg; south and 60 deg; north.

--Antigravity devices may become available.

--Time travel will be impossible; a time traveler from the future could tell us what we're about to do next, whereupon we'd be able to do something else, which contradicts logic.

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