NASA Urges You to Get Your Butt to Mars ... and Other Exciting Destinations

NASA/JPL unveiled more than a dozen free and downloadable posters designed to get you thinking about space travel. NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Progam, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Look to science fiction and the retro futuristic designs of yesteryear and you'll find an imaginative zeal for space exploration, a zeal that can be lacking in the nuts and bolts of real-time mission objectives. The spinning torus space stations of "2001: A Space Odyssey" and Donald E. Davis' NASA-commissioned paintings simple wow us in ways that two hours of NASA TV never will.

Luckily, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory knows the value of a little dream weaving. They've unleashed a suite of 14 travel posters aimed at inspiring new generations of innovators, engineers, scientists and explorers. Who wouldn't want to visit Venus' psychedelic Cloud 9 Observatory?

One of NASA's Visions of the Future posters

Or float the mysteries of Jupiter's cloudscape? 

Another free, downloadable poster from NASA's Vision of the Future series

If you prefer to keep your feet a bit more grounded, then consider a hike beneath the twin suns of Kepler 16-b. 

NASA's Visions of the Future poster series doesn't necessarily imagine all humans living within our solar system in the future.

And, of course, there's even good-old Earth "where the air is free and the breathing is easy."

Our favorite planet, as pictured in NASA's Visions of the Future poster series

Each poster is sized to print, and the website grounds each helping of sci-fi optimism with a dose of NASA mission findings and objectives. 

If you're inspired by the idea of octopod bases beneath the oceans of a Jovian moon, then the possible bridge to such a future is NASA's outbound Europa mission -- and the advancements wrought by the next generation of cosmic dreamers.