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OCR for page 188
188 It is clear from this discussion that optical astron- omy is on the threshold of a "space revolution." This revolution will start in the 1980's, will gather force during the late 1980's and early 1990's, and will produce a major impact at the turn of the century. VI. EPILOGUE In some sense, the writing of this report has been easier than the writing of its successor is likely to be, 10 years from now. Budget and technological constraints rather clearly determine the nature of our major recommen- dations. However, the revolution in space technology is about to overtake us; 10 years from now it will be much more difficult to chose among the technically feasible and scientifically exciting options available to astron- omy. We wish our successors well. The discoveries of these final decades of the twentieth century are certain to surprise us, educate us, and liberate our society from many of the superstitions, fallacies, and uncertainties of our role in the cosmic design.