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2001: 9/11 happens, and President Bush orders troops into Afganistan.
2003: Bush against, Cheney's wishes, does not invade Iraq.
Bush gives speech on space exploration, and sets a goal for man on the moon by 2010, and a permeneant base by 2020.
Congress votes to give the FCS 200% funding, in order to fight terror more effectively.
2006: Osama-bin-Laden captured, pullout of troops by 2008.
FCS completed 5 years ahead of schedule, and Marines equipped with it by end of year. QV-9 Reapers completely replace Predators, and the Navy gets funding for 9 Reagan-class supercarriers.
2007: A group of backyard mechanics and sci-fi junkies manage to design and build a spaceplane, the Enterprise. It is designed to reach the moon in 3 days, stay for 1 week, and then return to LEO. They launch it, and it lands perfectly. They use leafblowers to create a 30-acre flag of the USA in the dust. When they return to LEO, they discover that the plane doesn't have enough structural integrity to land, so a Space Shuttle is dispatched to pick them up.
2008: Ron Paul wins the presidential election by 63%, beating Democrat Barack Obama. He puts a colony on the moon mining regolith and H3.
A space station, operated by Strickland Enterprises, opens in HEO. It has 12 suites (400,000 for a two-day visit), an observation deck, 2 lounges, and a 0-g ballroom. Strickland, as well as SpaceX, Bigelow, Lockeed, and Ratheon begin offering suborbital flights for as little as 30k for 30 minutes ins space. The US Navy procures 12 Ratheon White Knight space planes, all equipped with modified Harpoons. These garentee US dominance on the world's oceans.
2010: Russia, the EU, Japan, and Brazil are all building their own colonies on the Moon, and a group of radical libertarians create a huge space station at one of the LaGrange points. This is (currently) self-sustaining, with 800 people, and over 3,000,000 tourists a year.
2012: Ron Paul is reelected with a majority of 65%. Congress strikes the 16th amendment, and edits the 2nd to ensure that all citizens are able to carry any weapon of their choice to defend themselves. There are now 7 self-governing stations at various places throughout near the Earth's system, and the UN dissolves the Space Treaty of 1963. The US Space Navy and Space Marines are established after a transport transporting mass-driver parts to the Brazilian colony in HEO goes rogue, equips a scaled-down mass-driver to the front, and depressurizes the station, killing over 80.
2013: Brazil and Japan establish space navies, while Russia is locked in a civil war between royalists, communists, federalists, socialists, and libertarians. Tibet and Uiyguristan revolt, and China is split.
2014: An American vessel, the USS Freedom, reaches Mars orbit, and sends down marines and scientists to check out the surface. Tests show huge permafrost aquifers exist almost everywere, and the exec takes the initiative and nukes the one closest to the surface. For the first time in over 3 million years, water flows on Mars (if only for a few days). Plans are made by all the major powers to colonize Mars.
2015: The Kestrel, developed by Bigelow Airspace, becomes the first interplanetary vessel to be sold on the private market (for 4.3 mil a pop). Hundreds of billionares snap them up.
2016: Senator John Thune of North Dakota wins the presidential election by 56%, beating Hillary Clinton. The Libertarian and Constitutionalist parties begin to take the GOP's spotlight, while the Green and Socialist parties do the same for the democrats. An Anderson Industries mining colony lands. The population of Luna is c.30,000. Over 10,000 private interplanetary vehicles have been bought, with two-seater LEO to Luna ships costing as little as 40,000. Russia is partitioned into two merchant republics (Novorogrod and Vladivostok), a democratic republic (Caucasus into most of Siberia), a kingdom of Muscovy (most of Russia proper), and the Duchies of Pskov, Tver, and Ryazan. In China, Uigyuristan, Tibet, Guanxi, Chihan, and anchuria all split.
2017: Over 20,000 people live on Mars, with half-a-million on Luna. The stations scattered around the inner solar system house at least 4 million. The American colonies gain independence as American Luna (still a puppet government), while capitalists and communists fight over ex-Russian colonies. Due to international pressure (and corporate backing), the capitalists win, and establish a puppet government for Novorogrod. Travel has been revolutionized by the use of suborbital space planes (London-Tokyo in 1 hr). Fusion power is perfected, creating almost unlimited energy. Global warming is finally revealed as a farce when Indian islands that havn't been out of the water for 80,000 years break the surface.
2018: Over half of Earth's industries have been outsourced to factories on stations or the Moon. Terraforming begins on Mars, and is estimated to finish in 300 years (air at 360 millibars at 20 k, 80 millibars of that oxygen). Due to the decreasing price of ships, many minorities and political groups (fundementalist Muslims, Kurds, anarchists, marxists) begin a mass exodus into the astroid belt. Many cities and mining colonies are started. Due to increasing populations, many Americans leave as well, but begin a style of life that would drastically overtake the isolationist habits of the previous colonists. They begin "freelancing", which is primarally shipping and prospecting for major corporations. The freelancers are mainly libertarian/anarchists, and the UN (and all the other countries) doesn't have any policies regarding entities that aren't gaovernmental or corporate, meaning that they receive no taxes. Freelancers also establish settlements on Mars itself.
2020: The world has stabilized into several peaceful but competing factions:
Free Earth Alliance: Mainly the 3 Pacific superpowers: US, Japan, and Guanxi. Includes Peru, Turkey, Kurdistan, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the Baltic states. They all have a very minarchist (look it up) style of government, and have the largest economies and space navies in the world.
Green Earth Movement: A liberal group of countries, headed up by Nigeria and Brazil. Most of Africa and S. America. They have (outside of the US, China, and India) the fastest growing populations in the world.
Schooling: Most children are either homeschooled by AI's or in private, low-cost schools. Public schools are only offered to those who cannot afford to pay for their own (much like US right to counsel).
Workplace: Many administrative workers (upper 5th of most corporations) will be required (by most companies, not the government). Most other workers will as well, with all but the most essenal work taking place in virtual offices/chat rooms. Many of the middle classes abandon the suburbs for the country because of this. Most menial tasks will still be carried out by workers and interns. In urban areas, many will move into "company buildings", which are typically owned by a major corporation (Google, Anderson Industries, Strickland Enterprises). Residents typically work for either a branch of these corporations or for a partially substidised company. These buildings would typically incorporate a grocery/department store, and sometimes small malls.
Business in General: Several major corporations dominate most industries:
Google/Microsoft Syndicate: Commercial computing, communications,
Anderson Industries: Bought up many Asian tech corporations: Dominates space manufacture, pharmacuticals, weapons, terraforming.
Strickland: Transportation, food,
Royal Dutch Shell: Power
Architecture: Most cities have been transformed into the high-rise metropolis that Hollywood movies show us. However, they are growing inward, not outward. The countryside looks the same as it ever did.
Transportation: Most cars are electric or clean biofuel. Flying cars are a symbol of the rich, but at 50,000 for a good 5-seater, they are still available to most middle-class families. Most highways have been put underground, and standard planes have been replaced by suborbital rockets.
IT: Most artificial surfaces have microscopic microprocessors and sensors imbedded within them. Most of these are networked together, creating massive worldwide computer networks. These can control every aspect of life. For instance, temperature sensors placed in the walls of a bedroom could monitor the temperature of the room, and communicate to a networked AC unit to adjust it to normal levels. Weight sensors placed in the floor could identify a specific person by their gait and weight, and adjust temperature, lighting, music, etc. to their preferences.
Medicine: The human genome is only partially understood, but genetic therapy applied to fetuses, as well as medicine tailored for a patients needs is able to eliminate most major syndromes, including autism, Parkinsons, etc. Viruses are counteracted by GE counterviruses, evolving to combat the targeted virus as it evolves into more forms. This, as well as many other advances in other fields, have created a far healthier population.