Manned mission to Mars
Perhaps the most long-overdue space mission in history is finally undertaken during this time. A full six decades after the Apollo landings, technology is now vastly improved – particularly with regards to IT and telecommunications, on-person technologies, personal mobility and power generation.
The costs involved are still enormous, however. Rather than going it alone, NASA is forced to share the burden with other nations
4th generation nuclear power
By this date, 4th generation nuclear power plants are commercially available. They utilise a system of tiny ball bearings, rather than large fuel rods. They are a major improvement over the previous generations, for the following reasons:
It is physically impossible for them to have a runaway chain reaction, as happened with Chernobyl. No error, human or otherwise, will ever produce a meltdown. The uranium fuel is only 9% enriched. This makes it impossible to be used in terrorist nuclear weapons. The nuclear waste is much easier to dispose of. They are highly economical. Electricity can be generated more cheaply than oil or gas power, even when the decommissioning costs of the stations are taken into account. For these reasons, nuclear power becomes a highly attractive and lucrative industry from the 2030s onwards. China and India, in particular, take advantage of this greatly enhanced power source.
Solar and wind power shows much greater long term potential, however, due to the finite supply of uranium.