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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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?

How will landing on Mars work?

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.

How can the moon generate electricity?

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?

Why is NASA playing with marbles?

Bill Cooke, NASA scientist, is regularly shooting marbles into carefully arranged piles of soil. Why is NASA paying this man to do something most of us would do for free? It's all about our return to the moon.

What if we lived on the moon?

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?

How the Orion CEV Will Work

NASA needs a vehicle capable of carrying crew and payloads to Earth orbit, the moon and Mars. Learn about the technologies of the new Crew Exploration Vehicle and find out how it will help us explore the moon and beyond.

How Electromagnetic Propulsion Will Work

Get a sneak peek (even before NASA scientists) at a new type of spacecraft that could be jolted through space by electromagnets.

How Self-healing Spacecraft Will Work

Scientists are now developing a new type of composite material that will allow spacecraft to repair themselves. Learn more about this amazing future technology.

How Fusion Propulsion Will Work

Using current rocket engine technology, a trip to Mars takes seven months. Fusion propulsion would cut that trip in half. Find out what fusion is and how it could speed up space travel.

How Light Propulsion Will Work

Like many new technologies, light propulsion was originally conceived as a tool of war and national defense. But the "Star Wars" missile defense system may eventually send rockets, rather than missile-destroying lasers, into space.

How Air-breathing Rockets Will Work

Air-breathing rockets have the potential to dramatically lower launch costs and may make space lots more accessible to normal people. See how it will work!

How Robonauts Work

Have you heard about the new astronauts in town? They're dexterous, sensitive and don't mind doing dull and repetitive tasks in space a whit. They're robots. And one of them is shacking up at the International Space Station right now.

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!

How Antimatter Spacecraft Will Work

Antimatter has the ability to store incredible amounts of energy in a very small space. See how it will work.

How Asteroid Mining Will Work

Asteroid mines could become an incredible source of building supplies for a colony on the moon. Learn how they will work!

How Terraforming Mars Will Work

The thought of terraforming Mars is one of those ideas so outrageous that it just might work! Learn how it will work!

How Space Planes Will Work

Space planes are likely to be the replacement for the space shuttle. Learn how they will work!

How Inflatable Spacecraft Will Work

Inflatable spacecraft will revolutionize satellites and space habitats. Learn how they will work!

How Space Elevators Will Work

A space shuttle launch is expensive -- about $10,000 per pound. The LiftPort Group is developing a new system that could cut the cost down to about $400 per pound. Find out how a space elevator might be your ticket into orbit.