ISDC.2014.Cordell - 21st Century Waves


The New Apollo-level

Space Age

Bruce Cordell, Ph.D.

ISDC 2014.5.15

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 self-sufficiency 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 transformative

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



Lewis & Clark/ Livingstone/ Peary/ Apollo/

N. America Africa Polar Moon

Macro-Engineering (Erie Canal) Suez Canal Panama Canal Apollo

Projects (MEP)

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)

Predictions , Simon &

Schuster, New York, pp.


Standard Chartered Bank’s


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,


• 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


• 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/ NW U.S.

Dr. Livingstone/ Eq Africa

Peary/Amundsen/ Pole 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: analog of the transformative1960s/1900s

“critical states”

• 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, next Maslow Window of opportunity is between 2071 – 2081.

Can Humanity Afford to Wait?


Dr. Bruce Cordell



See: “10 Space Trends for 2014…”