ISDC.2014.Cordell - 21st Century Waves


The New Apollo-level Space Age

Bruce Cordell, Ph.D.



JFK’s 50 th Moon Anniversary May 25, 1961

: “…this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.

Freeman Dyson, ISDC 2010:

‘Why have we been stuck in LEO for 40 Years?’


• Apollo & last 200 years of Great Explorations explained by

twice/century“critical states”

• Growth, technology, geopolitics

, the trigger

• Early


in deep space avoids another 40-yr hiatus

Apollo’s timing not an accident; New international Space Age expected near-term.


The Patterns

Over the last 200+ years…

Twice-Per-Century Clusters

of these exist: • Great Explorations (e.g., Lewis and Clark) • Macro-Engineering Projects (e.g., Panama Canal) • Major Wars (e.g., World War I)

Disney and Von Braun

The 1960s were


The Way We Were…

The Way We Will Be

The Maslow Window Economic Model

It’s 1987. Why the smiles?

Compelling Clusters Energy Booms 1801 1857 1913 1969 Great Explorations

Lewis & Clark/ Livingstone/ Peary/ Apollo/ N. America Africa Polar Moon

Macro-Engineering Projects (MEP)

(Erie Canal) Suez Canal Panama Canal Apollo

Major Wars

Napoleanic Wars/ Civil War W.W. I Vietnam/ War of 1812 Cold War

The 56 Yr Energy/Boom Cycle

From Hugh B. Stewart (1989),

Recollecting the Future

, Dow Jones-Irwin, Homewood, IL, pp. 64.

Replotted in Theodore Modis (1992)


, Simon & Schuster, New York, pp. 148.

Standard Chartered Bank’s “Super-Cycles”

The Maslow Window Model

• Rhythmic, twice-per-century JFK-style booms occur --


• Widespread affluence -- the

“Great Prosperity”

• Many ascend Maslow’s Hierarchy -- “


Expanded worldviews support Apollo-style initiatives

1960s “Ebullience”

Maslow Windows as “Critical States”

Are Maslow Windows Triggered by Critical States?

• Pulsed Progress 2x/Century • Critical States seen in: – Financial Systems – NASA Space Programs – Wars

CS Feature large, unexpected changes from small triggers, “Avalanches”

Are Critical States Like Falling Grains of Sand?

Are Maslow Windows Predictable?

Near-Critical Potential Signatures Include:

• Financial Panics/Great Recessions; e.g., Panics of 2008, 1893… • Geopolitical Tensions/Conflicts ; e.g., Cuban Missile Crisis, Iran/North Korea… • Major Economic Booms; e.g., 1899, JFK Boom, 2015 (?)…

A 21 st Century “Sputnik Moment”?

The 1960s As a “Critical State”

• Sputnik (1957) • Cuban Missile Crisis • Peace Corps • Apollo Moon Program • Civil Rights Movement • Vietnam

Yale Sociologist Gary Brewer: During Apollo, NASA was “a perfect place.”

Forecasts and Issues

A Maslow Case Study: 1890-1913

Greatest Global Boom – 7/23/07

The Remaining Step: A JFK-style Boom

• The Energy Boom • Creativity –Universities, Business • Huge Amounts of Capital • New Technologies/Manufacturing Depth “America’s success isn’t preordained. But the technological innovations circa 2012 are profound. They will engender sweeping changes to our society and our economy. All the forces are in place. It’s just a matter of when.”

The Trajectory of Great Explorations

Lewis and Clark/


Dr. Livingstone/

Eq Africa



s Apollo/

Moon What’s Next? Or ?

What About the Moon?

“The Moon will never motivate the American people again.” (1984)

Tom Paine, NASA Admin 1968-70

• Star Trek: The Next Generation • ISS Model and Interspace • “The potential for cultural shock and social disorganization…”

The “Earth” Model or the “Moon” Model?

Who’s the Next Space President?


• 2015-2025:


“critical states” of the transformative1960s/1900s • The key:

early self-sufficiency

in deep space – to avoid another 40-year hiatus • Maslow

patterns are robust

through 2 world wars, the Great Depression, several financial panics • After 2025,


Maslow Window of opportunity is between 2071 – 2081.

Can Humanity Afford to Wait?

Contact Dr. Bruce Cordell


/ See: “10 Space Trends for 2014…”