2136 Human Population in Space Surpasses 1000

Over recent decades, the population inhabiting space from Earth to the Moon, including the Earth-Moon L4/L5 points and the Earth L1 point, has seen a consistent increase. More than a thousand individuals now call these regions in space their home and place of work. A substantial segment of this group contributes to the international SCALE project, the Sunlight Control and Limitation Effort which maintains a sunshade between the Earth and the Sun.

The International Space Station 2.0, a multinational endeavor led by India, Nigeria, and China, serves as a hub for scientific research and technological development. Housing a hundred individuals, the station is a testament to the enduring spirit of international cooperation in space exploration.

Various lunar research bases and solar power stations, host 50 and 75 personnel respectively. The Mars Transit Habitat, a rest and resupply point for Mars-bound missions, operates with a minimal crew of 12. Several tourist destinations in orbit and on the moon accommodate about 200 tourists at any time, a testament to the importance of tourism as a business in outer space. Meanwhile, the Space Debris Collection network and TOAST, the Transit Orbital Assistance and Space Towing service, each staffed by 30 personnel, work tirelessly to mitigate the growing problem of space debris while providing crucial services to satellite and spacecraft operators at the same time.

At the heart of these endeavors lies SCALE. This ground-breaking project, initiated in response to the global warming crisis, engages 400 personnel across lunar factories, various points in Earth's orbit, and at the L1 Lagrange Point. Alongside these dedicated individuals, tens of thousands of construction drones autonomously process millions of tons of titanium and aluminum into lattice structures and foil.

The Off-Earth Manufacturing Facility and Biological Research Station, each with a crew of 25, lead advances in microgravity manufacturing and space medicine. Concurrently, lunar ice mining Bases and the multi-national Deep Space Gateway, with 20 and 15 staff respectively, provide essential resources, and serve as launching points for further space exploration.

Though not yet operational, the Space Elevator Research Station houses 10 personnel focusing on research and development for a future space tether. The distributed Deep Space Observatory is home to a total of 15 researchers while various comet research facilities, in earth space and beyond employ 20 scientists, technicians and prospectors. The Interstellar Probe Launch Site, operated by StarSail, is gearing up to dispatch probes into interstellar space. A compact technical crew manages the site's powerful lasers and energy stations, essential for propelling these probes.

A multitude of smaller stations, managed by a combination of private corporations and nation-states, dot the low and high Earth orbits. Each station, though smaller in size and scope, contributes uniquely to the broad spectrum of human space activities. Despite their modest size, these stations accommodate a significant segment of the space-residing population. They play pivotal roles in research, space resource utilization, and in-situ manufacturing. The ability to produce equipment and spare parts directly in orbit significantly reduces the need for costly cargo launches from Earth. These service-focused stations, alongside lunar mining facilities, are the early indicators of an emerging interplanetary economy.

2141 Africa's Big 5 Move to South America

The African megafauna is being resettled in the Amazonian savanna.

In the last 200 years, Africa's nature reserves have undergone a significant reduction, with most giving way to human activities as early as the 21st century. Sadly, many of Africa's magnificent large animals are endangered or already extinct in the wild, with the leopard being on the brink of extinction, and only small genetically-reduced groups existing in zoos. Buffalos and rhinos have vanished from their natural habitats, though they are kept as livestock for their meat, milk, and horns. Currently, only African elephants and lions still reside in natural reserves. But both species are heavily "managed": their movements are controlled, and their reproduction is artificially supported. In case of the leopard only cloning and gene-editing might prevent the complete extinction of the species. Other large species such as wildebeest, zebra, antelopes, and cheetahs are facing a similarly dire fate.

South America has a relatively low population density that is comparable to Africa in the 20th century, whereas the African continent is now nearly four times as densely populated. The deforestation of the Amazon rainforest has transformed the region into a savanna with a climate similar to that of central Africa. Regrettably, due to the scarcity of water, only a portion of the Amazon can be utilized for agricultural purposes, leaving the remainder as a dry savanna that is primarily used for harnessing solar energy.

In the 2120s, Animais Selvagens del Mundo, an animal protection organization, successfully persuades regional governments to designate large nature reserves in the Amazon that are suitable for African megafauna species. After two decades of meticulous analysis and preparation, numerous African species are relocated to these new reserves. The adjustment of the food chain is significantly aided by modern genetic engineering, known as gengineering. Over the next few years, in addition to the Big 5, wildebeest, zebra, antelopes and gazelles are also successfully resettled. The South American jaguar replaces the then extinct African leopard.

Africa loses its last megafauna in the early 23th century. But thanks to the resettlement, many large species survive in the nature reserves of South America.