Regarding the kind of advaces we can expect without "genie machines": from www.spacer.com (the best source of space news I've found:
Sanders Wins Space Supercomputer Contract
Nashua - April 7, 1999 - The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's
(NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has notified Sanders, a Lockheed
Martin Company, that the company has been selected for Phase-II of the Remote Exploration and Experimentation (RE&E) supercomputing technology project. The $6 million RE&E contract will result in a demonstration of a low-power, scalable, high-performance computer with on-board processing capabilities that will enable NASA to conduct a new class of space science missions. During the next nine months, Sanders will demonstrate a computing system capable of at least 30 million-operations-per-second (MOPS) per watt. In addition to making possible a new class of space science missions, the technology will reduce operational costs for NASA and will contribute to the development of next-generation small satellites for deep space missions.
In May 1996, Sanders received one of five study contracts to examine the feasibility and trade-offs involved in the development of scalable supercomputing for space. In January 1998, the company won one of two Phase-I RE&E contracts to design an architecture for future, power-efficient space processors. From this most recent competitive down-selection, Sanders was selected for the program to apply earth-based supercomputing technology to a test bed computing system, leading to flight computers for missions in 2003-2005.
Greg Burch <GBurch1@aol.com>----<email@example.com> Attorney ::: Vice President, Extropy Institute ::: Wilderness Guide http://users.aol.com/gburch1 -or- http://members.aol.com/gburch1 "Civilization is protest against nature; progress requires us to take control of evolution." -- Thomas Huxley