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Mapping Wild Cards

Inspired by: scientists/researchers » Revolutionary space propulsion technology

version: 2 / updated: 2010-12-07
id: #1212 / version id: #1211
mode: VIEW

Originally submitted by: Aharon Hauptman
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Last changed by: Aharon Hauptman
WI-WE status:

Source of inspiration

Scientists/researchers (incl. reports, plans and statements)

The source of the Wild Card is

"Ascending to the Stars on a Beam of Light" http://discovermagazine.com/2010/jul-aug/28-launching-on-a-beam-of-light/article_print


(max. 9 words)

Revolutionary space propulsion technology


(approx. 150 words)
Please describe the Wild Card (approx. 150 words)
New space propulsion technology (not based on chemical rockets) enables a dramatic reduction of the cost per pound required to get a satellite into orbit or to propel a spacecraft to its destination in space This is achieved because there is no need anymore to carry the fuel with the rocket. Instead, the energy for propulsion is supplied from the ground (e.g. laser beams) or from space (e,g solar sail).


space, space propulsion, satellites, laser, solar sail


(max. 250 characters)

New space propulsion technology (not based on chemical rockets) enables a dramatic reduction of the cost per pound required to get a satellite into orbit or to propell a spacecraft to its target in space .


Closest timeframe for at least 50% likelihood
Please use one of the following options:

Type of event

Human planned (e.g. terrorist attack or funded scientific breakthrough)

Type of emergence

please select (if any) describe related trend or situation
A new development/situation
(e.g. a Romani state is established in central Europe; A message from an alien civilisation existing on a distant planet is received and understood, etc.

Type of systems affected

Human-built Systems - E.g. organisations, processes, technologies, etc.




please specify:
please select
Level 1: important for a particular country
Level 2: important for a particular world region
Level 3: important for the European Union
Level 4: important for the whole world

Early indicators

(including weak signals)

Demonstrations of alternative propulsion technologies such as high-power laser beams

Latent phase

Obstacles for early indentification

economic filters (business/market interests)
scientific filters (knowledge/technology access)

Manifestation phase

Type of manifestation

In a probably enclosed way (e.g. geographically, sectorally)

Aftermath phase

Important implications
Emergence of a new system (e.g. new technologies, new paradigms)

Relevance for Grand Challenges

where? please justify:
particularly relevant Europe world
Economic prosperity/dynamics
Techno-security, hazard & risk

Relevance for thematic research areas

please justify:
particularly relevant
ICT - Information & communication technologies
Transport (including aeronautics)

Pan-European strategies potentially helping to deal with the wild card

please justify:
particularly relevant
Strengthening research institutions and universities
Facilitating and promoting knowledge sharing and transfer
Fostering and facilitating coherent international cooperation in science and technology

 Features of a research-friendly ecology contributing to deal with the wild card

For further information about 'research-friendly strategies' click here

please justify:
particularly relevant
Strengthening the actors in the research-friendly ecology
(i.e. Research funding organisations, universities, businesses, Research and Technology Organisations, Researchers and Citizens)
Creating a closer link between researchers & policy-makers
(e.g. supporting both thematic and cross-cutting policies, highlighting the strategic purpose of the European Research Area, etc.