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.

Chinese Insects and Plants Will Be the Next Earthlings on the Moon

The first 'manned' mission to the moon since the 1970s will be populated by bugs and plants.

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.

Asgardia Wants to Be a New Nation — in Space

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

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.

Elon Musk Steers Dragon 2 Toward Possible 2018 Mars Landing

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.

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.

NASA's 2016 Budget Is Looking Out of This World

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

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.

NASA's Giant Space Umbrella Starshade Could Help Find Alien Life

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.

We Should Still Be Talking About Moon Colonization

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

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.

NASA Thinks Augmented Reality Is the Future of Tech Support

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!

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.