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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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 Just 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.

NASA Will Learn to Prevent Space Fires by Setting Space Fires

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

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.

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.

Soon We Could Glide to the Edge of Space Without an Engine

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

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 will we colonize other planets?

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?