Russian version

See you in the orbit

Y. B. Karasik,
Thoughts Guiding Systems Corp.,
Ottawa, Canada.
e-mail:karasik@sympatico.ca

The birthday of Vovka Kutuzov was approaching. I requested mom to buy him a gift. She bought the book "See you in the orbit!" by the cosmonaut Adrian Nikolaev and said:
- Give this book to Vova and say, "See you in the orbit".

In those days, in the mid-1960's, it seemed that people would fly to space, as on airplanes, pretty soon, well after some 10-15 years for sure. The history of aviation, automotive, and rail road transportation led to believe in it. Indeed, passenger planes appeared about 15 years after the first flight of the Wright brothers [1]. Passenger trains also appeared 16 years after Stephenson built his first locomotive in 1814 [2]. The mass production of automobiles began 17 years [3] after its invention in 1885 [4].

But passenger space flights still do not occur, even though 50 years have passed since the first space flight. This shows the value of forecasts, which only state that something is bound to happen, but do not say when.

TRIZ is full of such predictions: a system at a macro-level is bound to pass to a micro-level, mechanical fields are bound to be replaced with electro-magnetic, and then with optical fields, etc. They only do not say when this is bound to happen, which raises doubts that these changes must happen to all systems.

On the contrary, there are many examples of how the predictions, suggesting that something is bound to happen, but not saying when, in fact, have never materialized. There are, of course, not a smaller number of examples when timing was provided but predictions did not come true either. Still, a prediction without a timing is not really a prediction.