by SAMANTHA WOODKE '20
The 2020’s have begun rather memorably, with Australian fires, a presidential impeachment, and the threat of another coronavirus epidemic dominating the news. Though it might seem easy given this notable first month to look ahead with cynicism, the new decade still offers much to look forward to, both big and small. Here’s what we can expect:
1. NASA has big plans for the 20’s, including further exploration of both the Moon and Mars.
A new rover, yet to be named, will launch for the Red Planet in mid-July of 2020 and remain on the planet for 1 “Mars year,” or 687 Earth days. Its primary goals will be to investigate past habitability as well as the potential for future life on the red planet. The rover will collect soil and rock samples for later collection and test developing methods of oxygen production.
Name suggestions for the rover have been narrowed down to 9 finalists-- click here to see what they are!
Humanity will return to the Moon for the first time in the 21st century by 2024 with the Artemis program (named in tribute of the Greek goddess and twin sister of Apollo). This initiative will put the next man and first woman on the Moon and is hoped to be a stepping stone toward sending astronauts to Mars.
2. The world will unite for more leisurely common interests with the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, the first Asian city to host the event twice.
Not only will this year feature five new events (karate, surfing, skateboarding, baseball/softball, and sport climbing), it will also highlight innovation through the “Robot Project,” which aims to support greater public inclusion. Some robotic models that will be seen include interactive mascots and information collectors that can transmit video and audio to linked off-site bots. Excitement is certainly mounting for this year’s Olympics, but many Americans are already in anticipation of 2028, when the Games will be held in our very own Los Angeles.
3. This decade will likely mark the “fall of cable TV” as increasingly more streaming platforms join the ranks of Netflix and Hulu.
Apple TV Plus and Disney Plus were implemented at the end of 2019, beginning a wave of new services that will continue to captivate viewers in the next year. NBC’s Peacock will launch mid-2020 and is promised to be partly free with a subscription style similar to Spotify's. Peacock will feature fan-favorites like The Office, Law and Order, and Saturday Night Live. Arriving around the same time is WarnerMedia’s HBO Max, which will provide productions by HBO and Warner Brothers like Game of Thrones and Friends. It is likely that similar platforms will continue to be developed as the decade progresses-- perhaps a sports-focused service will be next on the release list.
4. The new year brings with it several promising movie options.
The theme of female power is prevalent with superhero films featuring Marvel’s Black Widow and DC’s Wonder Woman, along with Disney’s equally-heroic live-action Mulan. Tom Cruise will return to an iconic role in Top Gun 2: Maverick, and lovers of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton can look forward to the movie adaptation of his first Broadway musical, In the Heights.
From space exploration to movies and everything in between, there are many aspects of the new decade to eagerly await. With the continued development of technology and worldwide connections, a bright future certainly lies ahead.