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The story will take place near a galaxy filled with space faring civilizations. In this galaxy, a small group of scientists realize that their side is on the losing side of a war that will probably lead to their species's extinction. In an act of desperation they abduct 1000 beings (perhaps more) from a stone-age level species and make a colony in a nearby dwarf galaxy. The scientists have knowledge of faster than light travel and genetic engineering. With the genetic engineering the scientists blend their DNA with the primitives which upgrades the primitives from a Neanderthal level to a homosapien level of intelligence. In short the advanced beings want the genetic and cultural legacy to live on and prepare for a future conquest of the main galaxy.

The advanced being scientists die out when they reach old age of 100 years. In that time the colonists are conditioned to view the advanced ones as gods.

Question

After 5000 years the colony is visited by an explorer from the greater galaxy and finds that the colony has reached the industrial age, but can't return to a space level civilization. What condition, or material lack, would keep a society stuck at the industrial age?

I originally considered that the planet would lack fissionable materials and thus the atomic age couldn't begin.

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    $\begingroup$ The idea that a civ is stuck at some tech level and can't advance in the tech tree is computer game logic. Could you elaborate what you want to Do? Prevent reaching space specifically or an eternal 1850 or so? $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Feb 11 '18 at 18:55
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    $\begingroup$ Have you tried looking at the Dragonriders of Pern series or other books for how they did it, to get some ideas? Granted, having a periodic bombardment of life-eating viruses is probably nowhere near what you had in mind, but that sort of external threat (a consistent struggle for survival) would severely handicap the ability to devote time to technological advancement or research. Restriction of resources is not the only way to limit technological development. $\endgroup$ – Palarran Feb 11 '18 at 21:18
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    $\begingroup$ Could the Industrial Revolution be delayed indefinitely? $\endgroup$ – Mazura Feb 12 '18 at 1:55
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    $\begingroup$ Why would they bother with the uplift rather than just colonising with their own species? $\endgroup$ – Tim B Feb 12 '18 at 9:31
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    $\begingroup$ Other than the uplift bit, this is basically the genesis of David Weber's Safehold series... and religion is the answer. $\endgroup$ – T.J.L. Feb 12 '18 at 14:40

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The simplest answer is probably a lack of fossil fuels. One could easily imagine a world where the conditions for fossil fuel formation never occur, or haven't occurred yet (Which is harder to justify for fissionable materials, since there's a lot more steps in the process that can be disrupted). This is slightly easier to justify than a lack of fissile materials, and limits growth more reliably. You can still have most modern technology without fission; it just takes slightly longer due to a few avenues of scientific research being impossible on world.

You can still reach an industrial age without fossil fuels (wind power and water power are still a thing, and the agricultural revolution doesn't need them), but there's no explosion of productivity due to the limit on energy and various petrochemicals being much more difficult to obtain. They'll figure out synthetic equivalents to petrochemicals eventually, but it's not a stretch to think it'll take centuries longer than on Earth.

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  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$ – James Feb 13 '18 at 21:35
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Super strong Van Allen belts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_Allen_radiation_belt van allen belts

A Van Allen radiation belt is a zone of energetic charged particles, most of which originate from the solar wind that is captured by and held around a planet by that planet's magnetic field. The Earth has two such belts and sometimes others may be temporarily created... The belts endanger satellites, which must have their sensitive components protected with adequate shielding if they spend significant time in that zone. Solar cells, integrated circuits, and sensors can be damaged by radiation. Geomagnetic storms occasionally damage electronic components on spacecraft. Miniaturization and digitization of electronics and logic circuits have made satellites more vulnerable to radiation, as the total electric charge in these circuits is now small enough so as to be comparable with the charge of incoming ions. Electronics on satellites must be hardened against radiation to operate reliably. The Hubble Space Telescope, among other satellites, often has its sensors turned off when passing through regions of intense radiation.

Your world has Van Allen belts with radiation so strong that it is nearly impossible to shield electronics or living creatures from the destructive particles. Satellites and certainly manned missions are terminally damaged as they traverse these belts. The advanced godlike scientists who placed the creatures here did not think of that; their own advanced energy shields were old tech for them which they had taken for granted.

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    $\begingroup$ Or maybe the advanced godlike scientists did think of that but the Van Allen belts grew much stronger over time. Would the 5000 or so years do? $\endgroup$ – Len Feb 12 '18 at 0:25
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    $\begingroup$ @Len - changing sun! That sounds good. It reminds me of Star Trek 2 The Wrath of Khan - if memory serves the sun of the planet where they dropped off Khan and Co changed and the planet became hostile. $\endgroup$ – Willk Feb 12 '18 at 1:42
  • $\begingroup$ I think that this would delay them by no more than 100 to 200 years. $\endgroup$ – Victor Stafusa Feb 12 '18 at 16:00
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In your question detail, you have mentioned that you don't really want the people to advance from industrial age, you only specifically want them to not enter the space age. There are three possibilities for this, in my opinion.

Option 1

The first and simplest of the methods is to set the priorities for the people on your planet. Make them more inclined towards research which has immediate and direct material output. Chemistry, industrial physics, medicine, computers etc. Space exploration does not have any immediate material advantage at all. Heck, even we humans, after more than 50 years of launching space missions, have not obtained any material advantage out of it.

Space travel is very, very expensive and the most basic requirement for it is money. Having no material incentive in space exploration will keep the governments from spending tax money into something which looks nothing more than a scientific luxury. Similarly, corporations and banks would also be disinclined from investing into this profitless waste of money.

In this case, the leap from non space faring civilization to a space age civilization would just require a change in priorities. Maybe an asteroid composed of very rare, very precious metals would help persuade the people to launch space missions in order to obtain more of these space treasures?

Option 2

Make rocket launches very difficult. This could be done by putting your colonists not on a planet, but on a moon of a large gas giant, such as Jupiter. You can easily put an Earth-sized object as a moon of a gas giant this big.

While the escape velocity of this moon would be possible to achieve, it would be incredibly difficult to obtain the escape velocity of the parent planet, thus making space missions prohibitively difficult. In this case, your people will have a strong urge to explore and travel to interplanetary space, but it would be very difficult for them to do so.

The added benefit here would be that in any point in the story, you can simply invent a new type of chemical compound that as a very high energy density, making it possible to achieve the escape velocity of the parent planet.

Option 3

Make the parent star too hostile for long term space expeditions. This can be done by making the solar wind too strong (A and F type stars would be interesting choices for your parent star) to enable any manned missions anywhere out of the planet.

The added bonus of this approach would be that your people would be able to send unmanned missions into space (although those too, would be very much costlier than those of Earth, and the onboard electronics would have very little lifespans as compared to our our satellites) but would be unable to launch themselves (or any other living thing) into space. This titillating obstruction may make your story even more interesting.

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  • $\begingroup$ The moon of a gas giant is actually where I wanted this to take place. $\endgroup$ – Jim Wolford Feb 11 '18 at 23:03
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    $\begingroup$ Actually I was running some numbers about escape velocity from Ganymede. Although Jupiter is massive, if a planet is in the Ganymede's orbit, roughly a million miles from the center of Jupiter, then the escape velocity is 15.9 km/sec. The average orbital speed of Ganymede is 10.8 km/sec. If a space probe leaves the moon, shouldn't they get to add the planet's speed to their own for the purpose of leaving Jupiter? $\endgroup$ – Jim Wolford Feb 11 '18 at 23:18
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    $\begingroup$ @JimWolford Sort of, but it's not just a straight addition. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escape_velocity#Multiple_bodies . It turns out the escape velocity from Ganymede to exit Jupiter's orbit is just 5.3 km/s, about half the earth escape velocity. And of course for getting to another moon of Jupiter, they'd only need the Ganymede escape velocity of 2.7 km/s. So it seems Option 2 isn't going to hurt them at all. $\endgroup$ – aschepler Feb 12 '18 at 2:43
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    $\begingroup$ No need to go down the gas giant road. Just a couple more % of gravity than Earth, and you get to the point where our chemical rocket engines cannot achieve escape velocity. The gravity well of Earth is already pretty hard to get away from, with almost all of the fuel going into getting the last bit of fuel, the final engine and the payload high enough... $\endgroup$ – DevSolar Feb 12 '18 at 14:02
  • $\begingroup$ @JimWolford while Ganymede is indeed located more than a million km from Jupiter, it is one of the farther Galilean moons. For the gravitational prohibition to work, you can easily choose to place the moon at no more than 420,000 km from the parent planet (about as far as Io is from Jupiter), and the math would work out pretty neatly. $\endgroup$ – Youstay Igo Feb 12 '18 at 14:25
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You're both asking "why are the still in the industrial age" and "why are they not space faring", but one doesn't imply the other. Let me try to come with some answers for the latter.

Lack of motivation

We easily assume every species strives for space flight, just because humans do, and our space stories are full of other species flying through the universe. But that's not a given. Your species may have look up to the skies and just thought "Meh".

Lack of a clear goal

The scientist may have dropped them on a moonless planet -- the sole planet in the system.

Space is considered 'off-limits'

The scientists were considered gods. 5,000 years of religion may have caused the species to consider the "home of the gods" (space) to be a place where they should not go to.

A few early accidents

Not counting training flights in airplanes, NASA did not lose a single astronaut during the Mercury and Gemini programs. The first deaths in a space craft were during a test for Apollo 1. Had NASA lost astronauts several times during the first flights, NASA may have quickly lost its support.

Lack of understanding space

Suppose the planet is moonless, and the species lack the eyesight to see stars (and planets), or the planet is always completely covered with clouds, so the only celestial body they've ever seen is the sun. They may completely lack the concept they are on a planet in space.

It doesn't make economic sense to them

Space travel is expensive. Developing space travel even more so. In the mid-1960s NASA took more than 4% of the US federal budget. Perhaps your species prefers spending their resources on warfare, curing diseases, exploring their oceans or throwing big parties.

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Design a planet that has extremely low metal resources.

After 5000 years, the society could be easily reach the 1890s level in technology but it would be very difficult to push past that. Mass transportation would be limited to boats, and horse drawn carriages, balloons and Gondola lifts (limited because cannot use metal cables or they discover a variation of farmable/manufacturable spider silk that could be used as a replacement).

They might have knowledge and awareness of electricity, but without conductive material it couldn't be used in very many practical applications. They might discover alternative conductive materials like Saltwater or Graphite (rigid "wires" only) possibly encased in glass.

Other technology would need to rely mostly on wood, stone, glass and animal based crafts for tools, armor, weapons, and building materials. For an example of a more advanced society without metal resources, see info on the world of Kelewan in the Riftwar Cycle by Raymond E. Feist, and they were able to create laminated resin armor and weapons. Glass might also be used as a replacement for many things we currently produce with metal.

Without the strength and durability of metal the society could not produce complex machinery without building it on a massive scale — which will be very expensive to build and maintain. Because of lower durability most complex machinery will be far more prone to maintenance issues.

In addition, the technology would not be able to support engines or other fossil fuel solutions (other than for heating and light). It is unlikely that they would ever discover plastic.

I don't mean to say that metals are completely unavailable, but that they are so rare that technology advancements would be so prohibitively expensive. For example, only an army general in charge of a brigade (1 in 3000 to 5000 soldiers) might have an iron or steel sword... and is so valuable that it is considered a family heirloom.

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  • $\begingroup$ Did you answer before me? This is basically the same as my answer. I'll delete mine if you were first, it's not easy to tell right now since they both just say "yesterday". Note that silicon is a metalloid, so depending on where you want to draw the line on "metals", you could prevent the use of glass also. $\endgroup$ – Todd Wilcox Feb 13 '18 at 20:25
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From the first big human settlements until today there were about six thousand years. I don't see why you feel you have to motivate failing to reach space in five thousand years.

In fact with only a thousand to start with I'd expect them to become hunter-gatherers in a few generations, not enough infrastructure to support scientists, and then fifty thousand years wouldn't strain belief.

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  • $\begingroup$ @Abigail Yes, they've reached a industrial age in 5000 years. So on average they're a bit smarter than humans...? Even it they started at an industrial age 5000 years ago, with only a thousand people, I don't see them maintaining that for three generations. $\endgroup$ – Odalrick Feb 14 '18 at 11:18
  • $\begingroup$ Even if the question is about "how to keep an industrial level" for 200 years... I wouldn't call us a space travelling civilisation. $\endgroup$ – Odalrick Feb 14 '18 at 11:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Abigail only a small slice of humanity reached the Industrial Age after 100,000 years. #1. A stunning amount of people in Asia still farm the same way their ancestors did 2000 years ago. #2 Large swaths of Africa are still barely out of the stone age. #3 Parts of South America and PNG are still in the Stone Age. $\endgroup$ – RonJohn Mar 6 '18 at 3:45
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It could be cultural, for example many potential fields of research today are held back by very strongly ingrained cultural morals that view fields like bio-engineering as making a mockery of God's creation. Perhaps your colonists environment isn't to blame, instead they could simply view approaching technological equivalence with their ancient gods to be blasphemy.

Its not too much of a stretch, in feudal japan match-lock muskets and large bore cannon, and even weaponized rocketry had been adopted and developed at one point, yet when the European traders and explorers arrived they discovered a medieval society wielding swords, spears, and bows. The ruling class saw fire-arms as a challenge to their honor and power. The feudal system based on a divinely granted superiority and right to rule didn't make sense once even a poorly trained peasant with even a crude firearm could easily kill even the highest born and expensively equipped and trained samurai, so they simply banned all firearms. Their culture actually remained in a state of relative technological stasis for several centuries because of cultural reasons related to their rulers forbidding any technological advancements that altered the status quo.

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  • $\begingroup$ I wanted the main location on the lost colony to be based on late feudal Japan/ early Meiji period. Samurai and ninja blended with a little steam punk. $\endgroup$ – Jim Wolford Feb 12 '18 at 4:10
  • $\begingroup$ Then I recommend you read up on the hard-history of the culture. An excellent place to start would be to read the 2 part story "Shogun" by James Clavell. The TV series is entertaining, but also Hollywood crap, the book is great though. $\endgroup$ – TCAT117 Feb 12 '18 at 4:24
  • $\begingroup$ Actually I just find an excuse and money and then just go to Japan. $\endgroup$ – Jim Wolford Feb 13 '18 at 6:07
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    $\begingroup$ I'd be careful spending that kind of money. Going to japan to study the shogunate culture is a good paralell to my trip to europe to study knights and medieval warfare. Most of the castles nowdays are piles of rubble and the ones that arent are bed and breakfasts or gaudy gift shops. I found precious little in the way of knowledge that I couldnt get from old texts and conventional study. Japan is no longer a technophobic fuedal societey, if you got the money and time power to ya, just be forewarned that you will probably be a bit disappointed. $\endgroup$ – TCAT117 Feb 15 '18 at 21:53
  • $\begingroup$ Actually I've visited Japan 8 times and have never been disappointed. $\endgroup$ – Jim Wolford Feb 16 '18 at 22:44
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Ok so the guys who left them there have access to very advanced technology and automation?

Fine, they leave orbiting weapons platforms, arranged so they can see all sides of the world.

Anything that gets too high, or travels too fast, gets blown out of the sky. If these attempts persist the launch points get targeted by kinetic weapons, leveling a large town/small city, but nothing too harsh though (no nuclear winter, more a smack and a "don't do that again" message).

They don't have satellites in orbit, their passenger planes can't fly too high or too fast, but they can advance technologically as far as they wish.

What happens if they manage to defeat/evade the orbital platforms?

Put more offensive systems out around the other worlds in system. As soon as they approach an asteroid belt or another world they get taken out.

If they can defeat the weapons platforms, or bypass them, they're probably capable & hard enough to be allowed out of the solar system.

Better hope they remember to respect their creators . . .

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Limited population.

Some have theorised that a sufficient number of people are required to retain technological and scientific knowledge and skill.

In The Rational Optimist, Matt Ridley suggests that the decline in technology in Tasmanian aborigines, found in the archeological record, was due to them being cut off from the mainland (caused by rising sea levels), and the population was too small to retain all the knowledge.

You know Kurzweil's idea of increasing returns and the singularity? Some critics (sry, no ref at hand) showed that increasing technology levels also correlated with population size, and made the same connection. Our industrial civilization has a very wide and deep base, expanding at each level. It needs a lot of people.

So... if you use this idea, you'll need a to find a way to limit population growth... or, have populations cut off from one another. Even if knowledge is available from archives of some kind, skill might not be,

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Absolutely nothing

That is, more accurately, that nothing has stifled their progress, and their civilization is right where it naturally would be. Well, natrually other than the fact that they were uplifted.

Think of this: Ancient Egypt was more than 5,000 years ago, and your advanced aliens/gods have been away for that amount of time. Even getting 1000 individuals up to Ancient Egypt levels would take a lot of effort.

Better yet, you could say the uplifters attempted to get a decent civilization going, and succeeded - but it later failed somehow - Some natural disaster strikes and wipes out the advanced civilization bits, dropping them back to the stone age where they have to build everything from the ground up.

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Stronger Gravity/Thicker Atmosphere

Double or triple the gravity of the planet, maybe give it a thicker atmosphere, and space launches become insanely difficult/costly. Consider how we've almost given up on sending lots of humans to space due to the expense (SpaceX notwithstanding). Now imagine making it 50-500 times worse!

Space launches become exponentially harder the more gravity/atmosphere you have, as the fuel needed to get through that gravity and atmosphere will itself need fuel to get it higher up. Basically, imagine how hard it is to get a tiny spaceship out of earth orbit. Now imagine a rocket able to carry that rocket to the point where the launch is equivalent to that of earth! This is the tyranny of the rocket equation, and it should quite effectively limit spaceflight while being quite straightforward.

Unfortunately, this doesn't limit other types of technological development, just space, so there's nothing here to stop them from inventing computers or nuclear power. Still, your example explicitly mentioned spaceflight, so it's once piece of the puzzle.

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Put them living in a deep ocean with a thick ice cover covering it.

Developing high-tech living in deep (salty!) waters is several orders of maginitude harder than doing that in air. There are almost no light there and even the few that exists is absorbed by water in short distances. They probably would have no light-based vision, relying instead in sonar-based vision, like bats.

Also, it is extremely hard to burn fuels inside pressurized saltwater (if possible at all) without destroying everything around that. Also, getting working electricity capable of doing useful work in this environment seems to be hard as hell.

Further, they have no sky or space to see or dream afterall until they reach a very advanced technologic level. They would take a hard time to notice that the thick ceiling ice cover is finite. They all were deeply used to the idea that the universe was a central rock sphere surrounded with the layer of their beloved ocean full of living things which is further surrounded by infinitelly deep ice. Until the day that someone noticed that all of the sonar waves travelling through the ice are reflecting at the same level of outwardy deepness.

Further, even when they eventually figure out how to dig through the outer layer of ice, they would end up in an inhospitable environment depleted of any resources worth to be collected:

— Heck, it was still hard enough to pass the ice cover and convincing comrades to fund that expensive and complicated project. After all that hard work, there is just an ice wasteland without anything valuable out there.

— Then, to just make things worse, there is that strange huge bally thing we have no idea what the f**k it is other than hell itself revolving around us just to blast off all the types of strong and deathly radiations everywhere to screw up everything!

— At least, now we know what is the source of those strange neutrinos. The problem now is to understand what the f**k it is. Further, we can't study it directly, we can only do it through very costly robots that we send out there. And darn, it is completely invisible to sonar.

Instead of spy satellites, they would develop spy ice-drilling robots.

Until someone have an idea:

We could build a very complex and expensive facility over the ice cover in order to produce electric energy out of the radiation of the mysterious hellish ball instead of relying in producing them geologically in the central rocky sphere! If that is economically viable afterall, of course...

Now, think how hard would it be until they figure out that space exists and what it is afterall. How/when they would note that there are other planets and stars out there (they are invisible to sonar and can only hopefully be detected through very complex and expensive robotic equipment that they send through the ice cover with few to no economic reasons to do so). How/when they would figure out how gravity govern out the movements of the planets. How/when/why they would try space travel, etc.

See my question where I explore this issue as well: How would an intelligent civilization evolve in the floor of a deep ocean world?

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The idea that the planet, or even the entire dwarf galaxy, has almost no fissionable material (that is, almost no uranium-235) may actually be realistic. (Although I don't know if it will be enough to prevent a space age.)

Heavy atomic nuclei like gold and uranium are so-called r-process elements. It turns out that most "low-luminosity" dwarf galaxies contain very little of them. Only a couple exceptions have been found so far, the first being the Reticulum II galaxy.

A theory is that these elements are produced mostly by neutron star mergers like the one that made the news last year (which is how I learned about this), and these merger events are so rare that small enough galaxies usually haven't had any.

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  • $\begingroup$ It was the concept of low metal star/galaxy that brought me to this website in the first place. I wanted to find the story aspect of a dwarf galaxy. Would heavy elements not exist at all or just in very small amounts? $\endgroup$ – Jim Wolford Feb 12 '18 at 4:05
  • $\begingroup$ @JimWolford The abstract of the paper about Reticulum II speaks about "enhancement [...] 2-3 orders of magnitude", so I take it they're not entirely absent. $\endgroup$ – Ørjan Johansen Feb 12 '18 at 4:44
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Make them not know there is something like space, maybe with a huge dust cloud. Not knowing this they aren't interested in how doing this. Cause they don't know the advanced scientists come from somewhere else this will help to make them being known as gods. (Douglas Adams proposed this for one of his species but I don't know anymore for which one)

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No WW2 / Cold War

This is the answer to a lot of "How to prevent technology" questions! There are plenty of reasons why a people might not develop space travel - probably more than why they would!

Look at why the Earthlings went to space. It's not just a natural progression of technology, it was a very specific circumstances, namely that the USA and USSR both got hold of German rocket technology (which itself was only developed to fight WW2), and then both had reasons to fear the other, as well as trying to build the prestige of their very way of life over the other, and so had the motive and the ability to pour huge resources into what seemed like an otherwise an extremely costly achievement without much return on investment.

You could also take away the Moon - such a close celestial body would have had an inspiring effect on would-be space scientists over the centuries - giving people a goal to aim for.

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    $\begingroup$ I think that this would just delay it by let's say 100 or 200 years. $\endgroup$ – Victor Stafusa Feb 12 '18 at 16:05
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe, maybe not. Our world is shaped in quite a large part by things that happened because of quite specific circumstances - the right thing happening or right person coming along at the right time. There's no reason to think that technology would progress along the same path that ours did. And 100 or 200 years later you still need a major motivation and superpower level resources to not only launch a vehicle into space, but keep doing it enough to be a "space level civilisation". It's arguably easier to justify not going to space than it is to justify going to space. $\endgroup$ – colmde Feb 12 '18 at 16:26
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Put them into a matrix where they will be monitored for any "weird" thoughts like psychic energy or developing power levels. When they get too smart then you just take them out behind the shed and shoot them in the head and readmit them into society as drugged individuals that are kept below the average intelligence level. Then keep feeding them drugs and opioids to keep them stupid and obedient and they will obey every command. If some are aggressive or cannot comply then simply banish them to the forbidden land where they will forever be located in and segregated away from society.

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Depending on what your definition of "industrial revolution" is, I think the only sure answer is:

Not enough metals

The lack of petroleum is a good answer, but I'm concerned there are ways to work around that by developing the chemistry to highly refine biomass fuels.

A lack of appropriate metals will be much harder to overcome. It's possible metals could be replaced with ceramics, but it would be hard to make ceramics as flexible as needed. It might be that one of the metals that would have to be restricted is silicon.

Now it may be that what you see as an "industrial revolution" is not possible without metals. In Earth's history, the earliest processes that could be considered "industrial" were based on water power and at least partly wooden machinery. With refinement of ceramics and cultivation of certain kinds of wood, I think a form of industrial revolution would be possible. One thing that would probably not arise is electric power and electronics.

One side benefit to preventing space travel through lack of metals is that the lack of metals would also inhibit the production of many kinds of weapons. War might be less deadly. This idea is tempered by the possibility of chemical or biological weapons delivered by trebuchet. If you did restrict silicon, then there would be little to no glass, which would hold back chemistry, but it's possible that properly glazed ceramics would suffice.

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Leave an immortal assassin among them.

In one of my unfinished stories, I had an ancient Atlantian who had been uplifted with telepathy, immortality and comparative super-intelligence by the alien conquers who wiped out Atlantis. Having defeated his civilization and decimated the human race, they left him behind as an imperial governor.

His job is to keep the human race from leaving our solar system, while simultaneously facilitating our multi-planetary population growth to 25 billion. This is the minimum population which makes harvesting this human slave farm economically viable. After much experimentation, he chose to govern from concealment, using his enormous wealth and economic power to shape the society from the shadows, rather than ruling us directly from a throne.

He's been very effectively in his job, arranging fatal accidents for great philosophers, world leaders and key scientists. In defiance of his alien masters, he's actually done his job too well, greatly stunting our growth to the point that we are still mono-planetary (and well below population quota), even after five thousand years.

After all this time, he has become a master at social manipulation and can keep a culture at any given technology level for any desired length of time. As I will not be getting back to that story any time soon, feel free to hire him to work within your pages.

Just be careful as he is very powerful and not very trustworthy. Don't let him in on your plot plans or he will shape your story to serve his agenda.

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