Charles H. Duell the Commissioner of US patent office in 1899, stated in that very year of 1899 that “everything that can be invented has been invented.” We can look at this quote now with laughter, but it seems to be a sentiment that is beginning to return, but this could not be less true. If we look at the success of Elon Musk`s Space X company which has allowed for a new space race, funded by the world of Silicon Valley. But if we ignore the egos of our tech overlords, you can find the tech of model rockets has increased just as much.
Perhaps most revolutionary in this new model rocket tech is Joe Barnard with his Barnard Propulsion system. Just like Space X Barnard has managed to create a model rocket that after rocket thrust self-propulsion will manage to find itself back to ground through the use of parachutes. This sort of technology is nothing new, used by NASA for their multiple moon landings, but it had been previously thought of as too complex and expensive for an independent start up. He is managing to sell these kits at $350, making self-propelled model rockets extremely accessible to the average family.
To take this to a completely different note is the idea of space drones, NASA has often pondered the idea of drones that will explore different planets and systems. Though sounding like the stuff of science fiction the future of space drones are extremely real with NASA currently testing them in different atmospheres. If achieved the advantage a drone can offer over a rover is extreme, being able to map a larger area than a rover at a resolution far greater than any current rover or satellite.
No matter if on the smallest level of self-propelled rockets or to the future of space exploration, these are extremely exciting times for science and the steps we may see in the coming century will be instrumental.