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.


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SpaceX Launches 59 Satellites Into Space as Part of StarLink Project

Other companies, like Amazon and Telesat, are planning to emulate StarLink's model, meaning there could soon be as many as 50,000 satellites, mostly for the purpose of internet service, floating around in space.

3-D Printed Space Meat: It's What's for Dinner, Astronauts

A Russian cosmonaut printed some steak in space, and now we're one step closer to sending humans to Mars.

How Will We Colonize Other Planets?

We've been cruising to and from the International Space Station since 2000. Isn't it about time we started moving on to other space destinations and establishing human outposts?

The Lunar Library: A Backup of Human Knowledge Is Going to the Moon

The moon's getting a new, space-proof library that will serve as an archive for all humanity.

Lava Tubes on Earth Could Prepare Us for Life on the Moon and Mars

By studying these geological formations here on Earth, we may be able to learn how to live on other planets.

Russia Sending Humanoid FEDOR Robot into Space

The Russian anthropomorphic robot can fire a handgun, do push-ups and even drive a car. Now it's going off into space.

Why Did NASA Send a Load of Sperm Into Orbit?

Astronauts will be testing human and bull sperm to see how microgravity might affect future human reproduction in space.

Imagining a Colonized Mars With Marshall Brain

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.

Mars Astronauts Risk 'Space Brain' Dementia From Cosmic Rays

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.

How Plasma Rockets Work

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?

A Year in Isolation: What We Learned From the Latest Mars Simulation

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

Jeff Bezos Wants to Move Heavy Industry to Space

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.

Nightmarish Sea Urchin Teeth Inspire New Space Exploration Claw

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.

Crops on Mars: Safe to Eat?

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

This New Development Could Finally Be the Key to Space Elevators

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.

A Space-Age Gold Rush? We Could Be Mining Asteroids by 2018

Asteroid-mining startup Planetary Resources has already launched its first experimental probe, and could revolutionize space exploration and exploitation.

Force Fields for Spacecraft Coming to a Galaxy Near You

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

How Terraforming Works

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?

10 Best Ideas for Interplanetary Communication

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.

How to Build a Better Space Explorer

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?

Could starships use cold fusion propulsion?

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.

How COSMIC Works

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?

Is it possible to terraform Mars?

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?

How soon will we be able to create a moon base?

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?

Could we really blow up an incoming asteroid with a nuclear bomb?

Surely nuclear weapons, which can obliterate entire cities, contain enough destructive power to blow a giant space rock to bits, right? What does NASA make of the whole explosive business?