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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University of Florida scientists used lunar soil collected during Apollo 11, 12 and 17 missions to successfully grow plants from seed. It's a first in human history and could help future space colonists grow food on the moon.

By Kimberly M. S. Cartier

Soon, one out of every 15 points of light in the night sky will actually be a satellite, not a star.

By Samantha Lawler

If our living space is to become outer space, we have a lot of challenges to address. And our first line of defense will be space architects.

By John Donovan


Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his brother plan to blast into space next month. But even if you're not related to a billionaire, you can still experience the fun of space at a 'down-to-Earth' price.

By Valerie Stimac

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.

By Nathan Chandler

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

By Jesslyn Shields

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?

By Patrick J. Kiger


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

By Jesslyn Shields

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

By Tara Yarlagadda

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

By Patrick J. Kiger

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.

By Diana Brown


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?

By Meisa Salaita

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.

By Christopher Hassiotis

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

By Jonathan Strickland

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

By Julia Layton


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?

By John Perritano

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.

By Patrick J. Kiger

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?

By Nicholas Gerbis

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.

By Jennifer Ouellette


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?

By Robert Lamb

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?

By Robert Lamb

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?

By Caitlin Uttley

Imagine parallel parking on slippery ice during a dangerous dust storm. Landing on Mars presents similar obstacles, on a grander scale. And remember, insurance doesn't cover extraterrestrial damage.

By Jessika Toothman


Researchers are using the moon's gravitational pull on bodies of water to test underwater turbine electricity production. It's considered clean power, but is it completely safe?

By Josh Clark

It's safe to assume there won't be a moon colony any time soon. But it's still a tantalizing thought. But wouldn't it be cool to be able to live, vacation and work on the moon?

By Marshall Brain