Correct to 3 June 2014 - Post 897
January 28, 2026: NASA launches Orion 1 into orbit, a unmanned test of the equipment that one day will return American astronauts to the Moon, several months ahead schedule due to government pressure to win the '2nd Space Race' against the Chinese.
June 2, 2026: The Orion 2 mission is launched. This time it is manned and the 3 crew members perform EVAs, docking and various other tests in Earth orbit in preparations of a Luna flyby next year. However the mission ends with disaster as the re-entry capsules parachute fails to deploy. All three astronauts; Lee De Ray, Sasha Conan and Rajit Chopra are killed. The government suffers a major hit in the popularity polls as a result.
June 29, 2026: Japanese investors announce plans to use Japanese maglev technology to help build a maglev link between Los Angeles and Las Vegas as part of a larger high speed rail system in the American southwest. They win out over rival bids by China and German multinational giant Seimens to build the Southwest Maglev System. Construction is due to begin later in the year with a 2029 target date for completion.
July 14, 2026: Despite the tragic Toronto sonic boom disaster, Jaxa announces plans to build off its success in supersonic passenger aviation with a manned lunar mission by 2035. Jaxa becomes the seventh nation or institution after the USA, Russia, China, the European Space Agency, India and Iran to plan or execute manned lunar missions. Jaxa hopes to follow up a successful lunar landing with a permanent lunar base, a goal echoed by other space faring nations.
Also on the day. Broad Group, the company behind the Changsha Sky City, completes The Guangdong Tower, a mixed use 500 story 2.1 kilometer tall skyscraper from prefabricated parts in a new district between Guangzhou and Dongguan in the South China Megacity.
This is Broad Group's 20th mega-scraper in China which reclaims the title of the world's tallest building.
The building is derives all its energy from solar and wind power and contains sufficient urban farms to feed its 250,000 residents. Broad Group devotes half the floor space to affordable housing and facilities for former migrant workers.
September 4, 2026: The International Space Agency announces it will organise the International Luna Project alongside NASA who will 'lease' the future moon base in a similar manner to the ISS.
February 19, 2027: Japan wins a contract for a high profile maglev connection between in the United Arab Emirates between Dubai and Abu Dhabi again outbidding its Chinese and German rivals. The scheduled date for completion is in 2031 with possible future extensions to Riyadh, Mecca, Jedda, Doha and Kuwait City. Despite the chaos engulfing much of the greater Middle East, the wealthy gulf states surge ahead with these and other infrastructure projects in collaboration with Japan and other foreign investors.
The Arabian peninsula has seen huge increases in desalination, greenhouse farming and solar power generation in collaboration with foreign, mainly Chinese and Japanese companies.
Dubai is the largest financial centre of the Middle East by market capitalization.
Despite a dramatic decrease in wealth, power and influence relative to fast growing emerging Asian economies led by China, India and Indonesia, Japan revives its reputation as producer and exporter of advanced technology and high quality products through its overseas medical clinics, advances in supersonic aviation and high quality maglev trains.
March 17, 2027: Japan signs a deal with India to help construct a maglev link between Delhi and Mumbai providing 300+ mph service between India's two largest and most important cities. Work is set to begin by 2032. The system will link with the Chinese financed Pan-Asian HSR system in the Indian capital. India also considers another maglev link between tech hub Bangalore snd Chennai on the coast of the Bay of Bengel with various nations and corporations bidding for the lucrative contract.
August 14, 2027: Pope Francis dies at age 91 in Rome. He suffered a heart attack after general audience in St. Peter's Square.
August 31, 2027: Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila is picked to succeed the deceased Pope Francis becoming the first East Asian pope. He picks the name of John Paul III in honour of St. John Paul II.
April 16, 2028: Numbers cross referenced from several UN institutions and the Indian government confirm that India has become the world's most populous nation with 1.46 billion people compared to China's 1.44 billion.
India also overtakes Japan to become the world's third largest economy after China and the USA with a GDP of roughly $8.8 trillion. India's relatively young population lead many experts to believe that India can sustain high growth rates for another couple of decades.
April 29, 2028: The International Space Agency opens up two new offices. The Space Debris Burea will be tasked with destroying space debris to oppose a Kessler Syndrome. The other office will be the Deep Space Protection Bureau and will be tasked will investigating protection means to protect the Earth from asteroids, comets and the such.
August 18, 2028: After sending over a half a dozen supply rockets to the lunar surface, Chinese Taikonauts establish the first permanent lunar base near the site of their nations' lunar landing three years previously. The Chinese base serves as a research centre for future lunar mining, greenhouse farming in a low gravity environment and off Earth energy production. Hu Chunhua promises a Chinese mission to Mars by 2040 and a permanent human presence on Mars by mid-century. He hints at the possibility of collaboration with other nations as well as private corporations to alleviate the costs of such a huge project.
September 3, 2028: A congressional report on the Orion 2 disaster is published. The report finds the fault in a simple folding mistake of the parachute, and allows NASA to resume Orion mission after new safety measures are implemented. However NASA has found its funding slashed as a result of the Orion 2 disaster, so announces the Luna mission will be now an internal effort with JAXA, the Canadian and European space agencies,and most surprisingly of Russia's Roscosmos, who have been suffering technical difficulties as well in their own Luna program.
September 29, 2028: After successfully hosting the Olympic Games, Manila announcing the creation of the Philippine Space Agency and plans for manned missions in space in the 2030s, joining the growing number of space faring nations and private corporations.
January 16, 2029: The International Space Agency announces it has awarded a contract to DeshazerTech of Arizona to construct its 'SpiderBot' construction robots for the Babylon Station. The SpiderBot is basically a 3D printer and housing for nano-fibre cables and several manipulator arms and will be used to build the Babylon Station.
April 13, 2029: Orion 4 is launched in a repeat of the Orion 2 mission. However this time it is a perfect success. Also to note Japanese astronaut Haruto Tongo is at the helm of Orion 4, one of the many fruits of the International Luna Project. (Orion 3 was another testbed that was launched several weeks prior and Orion 5 which be lunched several weeks later on a manned lunar flyby)
December 1, 2029: Orion 6 lands on the surface of the Moons, nearly 60 years since Apollo 11. The 6 man team spends two weeks near the South Pole for a precursor on a permanent base. One of the crew is cosmonaut Sergei Naida, marking Russia's first steps on the Moon, while another is ESA astronaut Anastasia Motta, the first woman and European on the Moon.
February 3, 2030: Joining the growing number of nations and private corporations in space, Jakarta announces the formation of the Indonesian Space Organization.
February 4-20, 2030: XXVI Winter Olympics Beijing Beijing becomes the first city to host both the summer and winter Olympics. Zhangjiakou, 190 km northwest of Beijing, holds the skiing events. A new magnetic levitation line allows athletes and fans to travel between the two locations in under 15 minutes at speeds exceeding 600 kph.
Thorium fission plants and gas burning plants have helped to reduce Beijing smog from 2022 levels. Cars are several times as fuel efficient further alleviating this problem. Some of the newest models are fully electric, hydrogen powered, self driving, or some combination of the three.
Beijing intends for the 2030 Olympics to signify China's emergence as an advanced economy and a technologically advanced nation. China's GDP exceeds $45 trillion for that year, more than 60% more than the USA at $28 trillion. China's GDP per capita and HDI exceed $33,000 and 0.85 respectively. Russia, Norway and Canada top the medals table.
March 2, 2030: Despite operating a separate space station and moon base, China agrees to collaborate with certain ISA led international space efforts especially the removal of space junk and the interception of hostile earth bound objects. China does not announce whether it will join ISA efforts to land people on Mars or act on its own.
April 16, 2030: Numbers cross referenced from the IMF and the World Bank show that Indonesia has overtaken Mexico to become the world's seventh largest economy at 6.5 trillion US dollars. Indonesia is now a high income nation with a GDP per capita of $20,000 USD, abundant natural resources, a stable democracy and a growing manufacturing sector.
However, critics point out that greater Jakarta, population 38 million and growing, and other large cities are way ahead of less developed parts of the Indonesian archipelago.
The Philippines is now the twelfth largest economy in the world overtaking South Korea at $3.6 trillion USD with a GDP per capita of $30,000 USD. Greater Manila is way ahead of the rest of the country. Malaysia is now a highly developed country.
May 8, 2030: The Indonesian Space Organization leases four Skylon space planes for future manned missions to repair satellites, clean space junk and resupply the ISS in coordination with the International Space Agency.
July 4, 2030: After nearly 6 months of construction by robots Pioneer Base is completed at the Luna South Pole, which Orion 7 lands it's first inhabitants including Japanese astronaut Dr. Kikuko Ogura and Canadian Philip Theroux.
July 5, 2030: Manila announces the completion of the new Metro Manila International Air and Space Port outside the capital with HSR links to the city centre. This new airport contains runways capable of handling the growing number of supersonic jets and space planes in the skies. Cities from London to Munich to Moscow to Beijing to Tokyo to Chicago are also building new airports and runways for supersonic jets and spaceplanes.
August 3, 2030: The PSA purchases three old Dragon-X space shuttles from private contractor Space-X for manned missions.