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Questions tagged [near-future]

For questions concerning the immediate future, where technology is assumed to have advanced slightly while still recognizable to modern humans. Questions utilizing this tag should focus on a particular technology and may be about a technology itself (how would this work) or the impact of a given technology on a particular topic (Society, Warfare, Economics, etc)

7
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3answers
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Is a self contained air-bullet cartridge feasible?

In my world, there is no access to modern or traditional gunpowder. I was wondering if a dedicated technician with a modern shop (cnc machines, and a surplus of parts and raw material, etc) would be ...
11
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5answers
2k views

How do I increase air pressure for the planet Mars?

Introduction For more backstory, see here and here The 438th Harmonious Congress of the People of Mars was perhaps the most anticipated since the early years of the settlement. In a rare action, the ...
-2
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0answers
110 views

A photographer with a lot of experience and good reputation does not have a job .. Why [closed]

After the global panic for job stability among my colleagues (I am a photographer), due to the quality of the files recorded with mobile phones, most have made a reserve plan for existence. I would ...
99
votes
28answers
13k views

How to monetize uploaded consciousness?

In 2039, our company was the first to bring a safe and reliable solution to upload someone's mind to the cloud. Although it was 10 years ago, you probably remember the news, don't you? We guaranteed ...
37
votes
22answers
9k views

What would be the ideal power source for a cybernetic eye?

After nearly a decade of development and public prototypes, the Mizaru company is ready to unveil the cybereye. A fully cybernetic eye that provides its user/host with high definition vision, enhanced ...
78
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11answers
15k views

Is it worth sending a manned mission to a black hole?

Suppose we detect a stellar black hole passing near the Solar system, and we have technology and time to send a manned mission to study it. Are there any experiments or observations that would help ...
2
votes
5answers
320 views

How to test a mutant to know all of his/her abilities?

I've read a lot of question about testing, so this may be a duplicate, but so far, I've been unable to find this question. Settings Following WW3, and its scenarium-radiating super-weapons, mutants ...
7
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10answers
2k views

What benefits would be gained by using human laborers instead of drones in deep sea mining?

In the near future the demand for resources only rises due to both a ever growing population, energy and resource crises, and rampant consumerism. Peak oil has been reached, scarce resources like ...
4
votes
5answers
278 views

How to detect gyroswords

So, in the land of futuristic feudalism, the board of sword duels has a dilemma. During a duel, one of the duelists added put gyroscopes in his sword. He claimed this was to improve his balance, which ...
33
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14answers
6k views

Is there a hypothetical scenario that would make Earth uninhabitable for humans, but not for (the majority of) other animals?

I'm trying to think of a scientifically plausible reason for humanity to be forced to abandon earth that would leave animals and plants largely untouched. Is there any natural disaster that would have ...
2
votes
5answers
551 views

Death from old age has stopped, but fertility window is the same. What is the new population equlibrium?

I'm imagining a near-future world where a process can be undergone that will halt all future aging of the body, but the approach causes infertility. Those undergoing it will not have (biological) ...
9
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5answers
185 views

Using L1 Lagrange point to block energy from the sun?

Working on a near future fantasy world and am trying to work on a mechanism for magic being discovered/unlocked. My current thought, which is what I'm trying to get a feasibility check on, is that all ...
55
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14answers
35k views

Why zero tolerance on nudity in space?

Set in the immediate future, mankind visits Titan, moon of Saturn for the first time. A manned space station goes into orbit around the moon once every 4-5 hours. Actually there have been many people ...
7
votes
8answers
369 views

Would a double-decker tri-articulated bus work effectively?

In my setting, the planet is grossly overpopulated. Vehicles are required to carry large loads of people from place to place. Bi-articulated buses are a necessity and have replaced regular buses as a ...
0
votes
3answers
119 views

Modelling platinum supply

Given an asteroid mining company manages to deliver platinum (ore) to Earth, how would they need to set their selling price to account for delivery, given that today on Earth 1g platinum costs $30 to ...
-1
votes
3answers
303 views

Gadget: Insect wings

(Related to Human Dragonfly wings) Context The mutant thread is back. For more context, see my previous questions. One of my character is a "subtle" mutant (no outward sign) that has an affinity ...
5
votes
2answers
135 views

Creating a gas/substance that prevents or inhibits aggression?

Deep within the labs of Nox (the company that brought Soma to the masses) a group of radicals lost in the company bureaucracy are trying to make a substance that either prevents or mitigates ...
2
votes
10answers
4k views

What kind of near-future technology would enable extremely quick, mostly silent, communication between soldiers?

My book is about a near-future socialist insurgency. Think Che Guevara. Che Guevara won with only 22 men by garnering support of the local population. I've read his books and can't say I see many ...
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2answers
113 views

What would a Scientific based way of making a person Similar to Marvels “Spider-Man” [closed]

The Question How would someone scientifically emulate Spider-Man powers without altering the human genes? The Limits No genetic engineering (except on spiders for their silk) Technology level is ...
29
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14answers
11k views

Is it practical to make English the global language?

The Hegemony since day 1 of its formation in 2041 has enforced a single global language for: education, legal documents, announcements, and for communication between citizens across the various states ...
3
votes
2answers
11k views

Build a real life Flash - How to create the speedforce in real life?

In DC's TV-series (and comics), Barry Allen is The Flash: a superhero powered by the speed-force. This speed-force allows him to move incredibly fast, can be transferred to others, and there also ...
5
votes
7answers
386 views

“Landing” a small asteroid on Earth

I've been poking around similar posts, but none seem to contain the information I'm looking for. I'll try to keep it brief. In the year 20XX, some powerful organizations are trying to "land" an ...
20
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13answers
5k views

How to keep the anonymity of people attending a regular event taking place at the same location everytime?

In my setting, a handful of characters have to attend a daily event (such as classes). They do so anonymously, as attending this event could endanger their civilian life if the wrong people were to ...
7
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10answers
3k views

What mechanisms need to be in place for an advanced, peaceful society to retain high testosterone levels?

While by no means a smoking gun, there is still a reasonable amount of empirical evidence on the notion that socialization and testosterone are negatively correlated. Archaeological Evidence From ...
4
votes
8answers
579 views

What motivation would people have for mining planetary rings?

People have proposed mining the moon for Helium-3 and mining asteroids for gold, iridium, and other precious metals. Suppose we have the means to do so in an economically-viable manner. We've got ...
16
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15answers
3k views

What could cause a baby boom across the western world?

Right now the trend in the western world is declining or stagnant birthrates, but in my sci-fi universe I wanted to have a period of rapid population growth (around the 2050s). What factors could ...
23
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6answers
2k views

What's the highest population the Earth could possibly sustain?

Suppose that we pare down human consumption to a minimum survivable level across the Earth, and devote the entire surface of the planet (as well as the planet's interior, if needed) to support as many ...
5
votes
6answers
402 views

What could cause an intrinsic fear of virtual world technology in a futuristic society? [closed]

Imagine a technologically advanced human society (about a few centuries ahead of our time) which has scientifically moved forward in many fields . There is one specific technology however, whose ...
28
votes
6answers
3k views

Practical (and Impractical) Clothing Styles For Microgravity

What might clothing designed to be worn, long-term, in microgravity look like? For the purpose of this question there are two categories. Practical, or everyday wear, and impractical or simply fancy ...
8
votes
8answers
532 views

What would be a plausible speed for a 22nd century military ship?

No, I am not talking about space ships, I am talking about water-based ships sailing the oceans on planet Earth. What would be a plausible cruise speed and maximum speed for what would be the ...
7
votes
5answers
666 views

What kind of “space force” would be needed to protect space assets in the near future?

Premise Even at present day, space assets are very valuable: Our space assets, day by day, are growing by leaps and bounds. It's the value of that satellite to the economy. - Neil deGrasse ...
41
votes
28answers
10k views

Why buy tech from the future?

The Demonstration You're a rich, successful CEO/capitalist working in the electronics business. Your R&D division is exceptional and routinely fabs state of the art processors at bleeding edge ...
8
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2answers
157 views

Brain-construct

I am currently reading an eternal golden braid, i've gotten as far as several lengthy chapters about the brain. He talks about neurons and symbols, what 'meaning' is and there is a lot of ...
7
votes
7answers
485 views

How could carbon nanotubes help me build supertall skyscrapers?

It is the near-future. Breakthrough, mass produced carbon nanotubes have been invented and are relatively cheap. These nanotubes have the properties that we would expect, and are manufactured in '...
6
votes
6answers
480 views

How to avoid lie detectors when they are prevalent?

Let's say that a method of lie detection was created that was 99.99% accurate, portable, and cheap. It is also very generally applicable, and there is no known method to fool it. Now, it is ...
9
votes
4answers
580 views

Would it be possible to distil specific human emotions into an edible drug form?

I am writing a dystopian future where I hope to make it possible that specific emotions can be taken in the form of pills or drug form; or, combined pills taken to form more complex feelings. ...
9
votes
4answers
529 views

What torch-ship engine requires the least complex control system?

A side shot from my series on a computer-less future; see here, here, and here. Project Rho defines a torch-drive as an engine with both high acceleration and high exhaust velocity. A torch-ship is a ...
17
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7answers
4k views

Would asteroid mining be worth the trouble? [duplicate]

My story is set in a somewhat recent period of time(within per say 50 years) The material (raw metal and such) are extracted by splitting the asteroid and then sensors identify which pieces of rock ...
17
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12answers
5k views

A clock for interplanetary travel

Introduction See background information here. 1000 years after darkness fell on Old Earth, humanity is scattered throughout the solar system. Apart from the Harmonious Republic of Mars, there are ...
4
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3answers
141 views

Ideal Place For Kenya Spaceport?

Its 20 seconds in the future. The space age is truly dawning this time. And I the CEO of a wealthy aerospace company, am looking for the perfect place to set up shop with my new spaceport. I've ...
2
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2answers
76 views

Do we know which traits reside in which chromosome? [closed]

I'm intrigued with the possibility described in Is it plausible to make human gametes from different parent chromosomes?. Assuming that humanity developed technology that allows us to make sperm and ...
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votes
1answer
144 views

Reasoning on conditions required to argument long term high federal investments in space exploration [closed]

History has shown that the Space Race in the 20th century between US and Soviets has been high enough to motivate US to increase federal NASA budget to [about 4%] of the federal budget 2, compared to ...
5
votes
2answers
268 views

3-Level Roadway Engineering

I'm the city designer for a new city we're calling Morrowville. Having some of the worlds top minds, flying cars have been invented, but can only fly a few feet (2-4) from the ground and not everyone ...
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votes
3answers
154 views

In a world where flying cars exist, what kind of features would the cars need to have? [closed]

Designing a sort of cyper-punkish, futuristic megacity where flying cars have been adopted as opposed to land-based cars to create more space on land and to reduce traffic issues. It can be assumed ...
11
votes
9answers
2k views

How would cloned neanderthals fare in modern society?

We live in an age where cloning technology is close to being capable of bringing back extinct animals. Currently, there are research groups who are moving forward with efforts to clone the passenger ...
8
votes
4answers
247 views

How would a world power create an artificial winter?

With the setting and criteria provided below, how would a country make an artificial winter that targets the North American Continent? Setting: The story that will use this artificial winter is set ...
1
vote
1answer
126 views

Space warfare in near-earth orbit [closed]

Related to This question which was very open-ended, but it got me thinking about a very specific setting: Modern Earth as is, or maybe 5-10 years into the future, so every major nation (US, EU, ...
3
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6answers
2k views

Feasibility of “in situ” ammunition production and salvage

In a (relatively) near future setting, several factions scramble to militarize as civil unrest on their planet turns into civil war. Factories are reprogrammed and prototypes sent to the front, guns ...
11
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8answers
3k views

What weapon would be most effective for orbital bombardment?

After reading Kim Stanley Robinson's Blue Mars, I've been considering the role of orbiting space stations in warfare. It seems like whoever controls space has a good chance of controlling the planet ...
9
votes
7answers
2k views

Could an astronaut in a near-future space ship survive transit through our asteroid belt?

In the near future we may find cargo ships fleeing space pirates! Given that... It's a small cargo ship carrying 10 metric tons of wheat (cargo volume, approximately 13 m3). Total volume: 100 m3. ...