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MindBullets is a part of the global FutureWorld Network, constantly sensitive to changes in the technological, economic, social, political and business landscape.

The MindBullets Contributors scan this rapidly changing environment for clues about possible future trends.

The results of this synthesis are combined by our contributors into an on-going series of MindBullets: News from the Future - with a summary emailed to you every Thursday and the complete MindBullets data base available online to explore each scenario in more detail.

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Filtered by tag: Aerospace
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PLEASE LET ME HELP YOU
Published on: 25 August 2016  
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My drone knows just how you feel
Dateline: 24 August 2019
Knowing how someone is feeling, or reading the mood of a crowd at a political rally, just got a whole lot easier with SensUbot - a small drone that scans people with a multi-spectral camera. The intelligent agent controlling the drone provides a real-time evaluation of your mood, sentiment towards a situation or proposal, or even your neural state. Are you bored, frustrated, angry, joyful or content? SensUbot can tell. Now there's no excuse for a public speaker to lose the crowd. A surreptitious ...
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DEADLY DISAPPEARING DRONES
Published on: 4 August 2016   1 Comment
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The technology is neutral, the applications not
Dateline: 12 December 2023
It's a dream come true for gadget geeks and Bond-aficionados alike: tech toys that self-destruct and leave no trace. That's not always a good thing. Initial research conducted by the US military lead to the development of VAPR (Vanishing Programmable Resources) systems. Labelled "Snapchat for hardware," VAPR aimed to develop an electronic system that could literally disappear into thin air when triggered. This made 'object evaporation' possible - systems would not be of any value beyond enemy ...
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SHOOTING STARS ON DEMAND
Published on: 7 July 2016   1 Comment
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Lighting up the sky with a meteor shower is the latest special effect for big-ticket events
Dateline: 4 July 2018
Forget fireworks; they're so last century! This year's Independence Day celebrations included a multicolor shower of shooting stars - in glorious red, white and blue; and gold. Commissioned by POTUS, but launched from a private micro-satellite, the meteor shower filled the skies above Washington DC, where Independence Day parades and celebrations went on long into the night. "Traditional fireworks are noisy and dangerous; they scare pets and create fire hazards," said Katy Chang of SkyBurst. ...
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ATTACK OF THE DRONES
Published on: 2 June 2016   1 Comment
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The drone apocalypse starts out of someone's garage
Dateline: 8 June 2021
You might be forgiven for thinking that they were filming a new episode of that old movie series, Star Wars. But the drone attack in Los Angeles yesterday wasn't staged by movie moguls. It was a local attempt at urban terror. Police and FBI are still investigating, but it appears to have been the work of a lone wolf, possibly an ordinary embittered citizen who has gone 'dronal'. The attack was launched with 76 home-printed quadcopter drones fitted with improvised explosive and chemical weapons. ...
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SOLID HYDROGEN BREAKS THE RULES OF PHYSICS
Published on: 21 January 2016  
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Hydrogen compressed beyond a liquid into a metallic state is the ultimate super conductor
Dateline: 25 January 2035
Imagine a stable, solid metal that is made of pure hydrogen - the ultimate solid fuel and lightweight material. That is now within our grasp, as scientists perfect a new method of 'growing' hydrogen crystals and nano-wires. Twenty years ago, scientists saw the first signs that achieving metallic hydrogen was possible. By compressing microscopic amounts of hydrogen between two diamonds with massive force, the gas was observed to partially solidify, proving the theory that, with sufficient force, ...
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DRONE HUNTING GOES VIRAL
Published on: 27 August 2015   4 Comments
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Bullet-proof paint creates need for cyber weapons
Dateline: 27 August 2017
Since the development of bullet-proof paint two years ago, drone manufacturers were quick to protect their products from the 'drone hunters' who typically shot them down at every opportunity, using special shotgun cartridges called "dronemunition." Drone hunting goes beyond vandalism. Many people feel drones are a threat to their privacy, trespassing on their individual rights, so why not shoot them down? So what if they're legal, or even helping the police and city managers, performing useful ...
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JET PACK TAKES OFF
Published on: 23 July 2015   1 Comment
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Talk about being upwardly mobile!
Dateline: 25 June 2016
After more than 35 years in development, the world's first commercially available jetpack is now on sale. The sticker price is a mere US$ 150,000. Made from carbon fiber and aluminium, the Martin Jetpack doesn't have the traditional rockets of science-fiction jetpacks, which are powerful but very difficult to control. Instead it uses rotary thruster fans, like a flying car. Actually, it's more like a flying bicycle. A small petrol engine drives two fans, one on either side of the pilot, to lift ...
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SPACEX LAUNCHES MOON TAXI
Published on: 16 April 2015   4 Comments
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Fancy a walk on the dark side?
Dateline: 15 June 2029
It's fun to go away for a summer holiday, and what better, more exotic place than the moon? That's assuming you can afford the fare, of course. For the well-heeled, it has just become possible to take that once-in-a-lifetime trip to the moon, and back; courtesy of SpaceX. SpaceX has announced that it is opening bookings for round-trips to the moon, including landing on the surface and a short moon-walk. Following the successful powered landing of the Falcon 9 rocket in 2015, SpaceX was quick to ...
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WHEN TECHNOLOGY FAILS TO FAIL
Published on: 8 January 2015   5 Comments
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Critical system failures that don't trigger corrective action cause disasters
Dateline: 21 March 2016
Yet another airliner has fallen out of the sky without warning. And the reason is fail-safe systems that fail to alert the pilots to the real problem when they fail. If that sounds a little confusing, that's exactly what human operators experience, when autonomous systems default to manual control - the ultimate fallback when there are critical failures. Even double-redundant systems can be completely taken out by say, a solar flare, or a massive electromagnetic pulse; something as simple as a ...
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MARS MOTHERSHIP PRINTED IN 3D
Published on: 23 October 2014   6 Comments
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3D printing in space solves problem of launching huge rockets
Dateline: 3 November 2025
A decade ago the first 3D printer to go to space was sent to the International Space Station. It proved to be so useful, more, bigger printers soon followed. Within a few years there was a veritable factory in space, churning out all manner of spare parts and items necessary for the maintenance of the ISS. Then came the realization that it was much more efficient to send up printing materials by SpaceX courier rockets, than to build giant spacecraft and space hotels here on earth, and expend ...
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NEW DIMENSION FOR METAL MINING
Published on: 18 September 2014   4 Comments
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3-D printing creates unusual alliances
Dateline: 26 August 2016
Five years ago, it would have seemed an unlikely partnership. But the alliance announced today between BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining group, and printing technology company Hewlett Packard, makes perfect sense. And the reason? 3-D printing has gone mainstream as an industrial production technique, and HP-BHP wants to corner the market. There's hardly an industry within which 3-D printing is not hard at work, from construction to aerospace. And the demand for the specialized metal ...
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RACE TO BLAST SPACE DEBRIS FROM THE SKIES
Published on: 10 April 2014  
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Radical plan after Great Space Crash of 2020
Dateline: 20 March 2022
Forget bonfire night! This year the heavens are lit up like fireworks as five companies race to blast dangerous space debris from the skies with powerful lasers. It all started back in 2010 when various scientists proposed ambitious plans to clear the skies of space junk that was threatening low orbiting satellites. And in 2014 Australian scientists came up with a concrete plan to track, map and zap the debris. But progress was slow as conservative space agencies weighed up possible risks, while ...
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DHL FLYING ON WIRELESS POWER
Published on: 13 March 2014   18 Comments
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No batteries needed for these delivery drones
Dateline: 7 March 2017
The biggest hurdle for electric aircraft has always been the weight of the batteries, and as nimble as they are, quadrotors and octocopters typically had limited flying time before they had to land to recharge. But what if you could charge them in mid-air? When Artemis Networks launched their revolutionary bandwidth breaking wireless data technology in 2014, few people suspected they had another, related invention up their sleeves. Their unique algorithms for creating powerful radio bubbles from ...
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BE MY MARTIAN VALENTINE
Published on: 13 February 2014   2 Comments
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And we'll connect on the interplanetary internet
Dateline: 14 February 2028
Ten years ago we witnessed the first private, robotic mission to Mars, which also led to the start of an internet network linking all the rovers and probes stationed there. Shortly afterwards NASA managed to establish the first manned outpost on the Moon, linking up to the Space Station. Then came MarsOne. Just three years ago SpaceX's first fully reusable rocket ferried a small group of earthlings to the red planet where they started a colony. The human race became a Multiplanetary Civilization. ...
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SPACE POWER FOR TIMES SQUARE
Published on: 2 January 2014   2 Comments
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Space based solar station lights up New York City's New Year party
Dateline: 1 January 2024
A decade ago, people were fighting wars over energy; peak oil was a major concern; and shale gas was a short-term solution to the growing global demand for power. Now it's all changed. Last night the New Year was counted in, with Times Square ablaze with lights of every colour - courtesy of the energy beamed down from Space Power Station Alpha. "I've got 50,000 LED lights and every watt is free!" tweeted the Times Square Ball, from its perch high above the crowds. For the last decade the Times ...
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A THOUSAND FUTURE THOUGHTS
Published on: 22 August 2013   2 Comments
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MindBullets celebrates twenty years of provocative scenarios
Dateline: 21 August 2023
Two decades ago FutureWorld began an innovative project; constructing weekly scenarios for the future, covering business, technology, society, politics, culture and global events. And so MindBullets: News from the Future was born. Provocative, engaging 'news stories' with a future dateline, designed to challenge the status quo, and highlight the consequences of today's breakthrough ideas. Since BEAM ME UP A BURGER, SCOTTY! was published in 2003, MindBullets have been arriving in tens of thousands ...
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WHAT DID YOU DO IN THE WAR DAD?
Published on: 16 May 2013   3 Comments
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Digital conflict has changed the rules of engagement
Dateline: 12 December 2050
My grandson was asking about my personal experience in the Vietnam War. He simply cannot understand how we could possibly have lived (and fought) with those primitive technologies. Face-to-face fighting is really a thing of history now, even as conflicts spread alarmingly. Warfare and conflict will never be the same again - digital technologies have permeated every aspect. Drones have replaced piloted aircraft, tanks and all forms of military vehicles. Ever since human drivers were banned from ...
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SPACE TOWER NEARS COMPLETION
Published on: 4 October 2012   1 Comment
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The 22km lattice beam construction reaches twice as high as a jetliner
Dateline: 8 October 2030
Possibly the greatest example of innovation on a grand scale this century, the Space Tower has been 18 years in the making, and would not have been completed as soon without the component construction skills of Chinese building company BSB. Reaching more than 72,000 feet above sea level, the tower has tested every aspect of modern materials and construction. The final sections are being added by autonomous 'constructorbots' as it's just too difficult for humans to work at that altitude. Air traffic ...
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SEND YOUR PHONE INTO SPACE
Published on: 20 September 2012   8 Comments
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Home-made spy satellites are all the rage
Dateline: 10 October 2015
More and more people are 'going' into space on a shoestring - and controlling their very own spy satellites from their iPads. Like 3D printing, the idea of building your own pico satellite began with science students and hobbyists, but now consumers are getting into the act. At a fraction of the price of a ticket on Virgin Galactic, you can order a tiny satellite online, or just download the designs and build it yourself. With a built-in webcam, you can watch the launch in real time, and see the ...
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THE COMING FACE OF AIR TRAVEL
Published on: 30 August 2012   4 Comments
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There isn't one: No pilots and no air traffic controllers
Dateline: 10 July 2019
When NATS, the UK National Air Traffic Control Service, was partially privatized in 2001, with the state retaining a 49% share, it started a long-running battle royal over privatization of such services across Europe. The remaining shares are owned by the major UK airlines (The Airline Group) and NATS staff. It's good business. NATS controllers alone direct almost 2.5 million flights a year, earning more than GBP 150 million profit and paying its shareholders almost 25% of that. The problem is that ...
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Filtered by tag: Aerospace
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