Future Space

What is the future of space travel? Explore the technologies we’ll use to visit the stars in the near and not-so-near future, from space planes to robonauts.


Can you imagine living on Mars? It's hard for some, but HowStuffWorks founder Marshall Brain has a new book that discusses the idea in depth.

Cosmic radiation gave the fictional Fantastic Four superpowers, but in real life it could destroy an astronaut's mind, a new study shows. NASA's already on the defense.

Asgardia's going to start small, as in one satellite small, but the proposed nation has big plans.

Imagine if we could get to Mars in 40 days instead of seven months! It could happen if we used plasma rockets, which travel at 34 miles per second. But how do we make this a reality?

In the HI-SEAS project, scientists lived together in cramped isolation on Hawaii, simulating the kind of challenges that would bedevil interplanetary explorers

The business magnate also wants space startups to become as common as internet startups are today. And Bezos' company Blue Origin is going to help make it all happen.

Researchers looked at the sea urchin jaw's uniquely powerful structure to build a better excavation tool, with the aim of digging on Mars — or beyond.

Elon Musk announced this week that SpaceX will be attempting to make history yet again by landing the first private and unmanned spacecraft on Mars as soon as 2018.

It's all in the name of science, of course.

We've figured out pretty much how to grow them. It's the making them safe for consumption that could be tricky.

How often do you hear of NASA getting a bigger annual budget than it asked for? Not often.

Scientists have discovered how to produce strings of extremely tiny diamonds. The super-strong material could help build a 12.5-mile high elevator into space.

Looking at planets outside our solar system is tricky because of light from their home stars. NASA is developing a starshade, which could help find habitable worlds.

If what we really want to learn is how humans can live, work and learn beyond Earth, why not start with the moon?

You can only pack so much for a trip to space. That means limited people, knowledge and supplies. NASA thinks augmented reality systems may help. Plus, they look fun!

Radiation is a serious occupational risk for astronauts. An active shielding approach currently being developed for spacecraft could greatly diminish that risk.

By next year the Perlan 2 glider could go higher than any winged glider before – all the way up to the ozone layer.

If we ever want to start cruising this vast universe, we're going to need some different ports of call along the way. What and where are they?

In the future, as we send space probes and manned missions to explore the solar system and possibly colonize other worlds, there's a major problem that we'll have to overcome -- keeping in touch with them.

Every day in space is like finals week, only the consequences of failing are substantially worse. So how far might we be willing to go to conquer the great unknown? Would you make a good candidate?

If we're going to get serious about boldly going where no man has gone before, and send humans beyond the solar system, we're gonna need a cheap and plentiful energy source to help us get there.

We've been cruising around in the International Space Station since 2000 and have proven ourselves quite capable of living in low-Earth orbit. Isn't it about time we started moving on to other space destinations and figuring out how to establish human outposts there?

COSMIC is a groundbreaking project that's taking satellite technology to the next level. How does it calculate information that can help predict climate change and monitor Earth's changing magnetism?

Forget about curb appeal. This cosmic fixer-upper requires some serious renovations before we can start living on it. So how serious are we talking? And are they going to happen in our lifetime?

Whether we head there to mine some helium-3 or take the first steps in expanding humanity's reach into the solar system, we want to go to the moon -- permanently. When's that going to happen?