British Think Tank Revives 40-year-old Plan to Build Space Colonies

The esteemed British Interplanetary Society is resurrecting an ambitious idea for creating giant orbiting homes in space. But to make it economically and technically feasible, it will have to rely on a plan devised by Gerard O'Neill back in the 1970s. » 12/03/13 2:40pm 12/03/13 2:40pm

How Self-Replicating Spacecraft Could Take Over the Galaxy

Forget about generation ships, suspended animation, or the sudden appearance of a worm hole. The most likely way for aliens to visit us — whatever their motive — is by sending robotic probes. Here's how swarms of self-replicating spacecraft could someday rule the galaxy. » 11/13/13 10:03am 11/13/13 10:03am

UK Team Unveils Daring Plan to Send Humans to Mars

Scientists from the Imperial College of London have outlined an incredibly ambitious concept mission to land astronauts on Mars. It's hoped that the plan will spark further debate about the feasibility of sending humans to the Red Planet in the near future. » 7/24/13 5:03pm 7/24/13 5:03pm

The Space City That Could Have Been, If Not For Wernher Von Braun

During the 1950s, Darrell C. Romick, a Goodyear Aircraft engineer and an early member of the American Rocket Society's spaceflight committee, presented several visionary papers. He outlined a future world of ion propulsion, re-usable launch vehicles, manned lunar missions and permanently occupied orbital colonies » 5/10/13 9:00am 5/10/13 9:00am

Astronomer Martin Rees explains how posthumans will colonize space

The Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees has penned a fascinating article for The Telegraph in which he ruminates about humanity’s future prospects, including the potential for super-human machine intelligence and our transition into a space-faring cyborg species. » 5/03/13 3:40pm 5/03/13 3:40pm

20,000 people have already applied for the one-way mission to Mars

In the first three days of accepting applications, the Mars One project has received a whopping 20,000 applications, with more than 600 coming from China alone. The project plans to send a select group of colonists to the Red Planet for permanent settlement — with permanent being the key word. » 4/29/13 7:20am 4/29/13 7:20am

Here are the stars we are most likely to visit after leaving the solar …

Astronaut and doctor Mae Jemison heads a group called the 100 Year Starship, which is devoted to making interstellar travel a reality in 100 years. The group takes donations to sponsor scientific and cultural projects that will take humans beyond our solar system. And they've just produced this gorgeous video, showing … » 4/01/13 2:22pm 4/01/13 2:22pm

11 of the Weirdest Solutions to the Fermi Paradox

Most people take it for granted that we have yet to make contact with an extraterrestrial civilization. Trouble is, the numbers don’t add up. Our Galaxy is so old that every corner of it should have been visited many, many times over by now. No theory to date has satisfactorily explained away this Great Silence, so… » 3/20/13 10:01am 3/20/13 10:01am

Right now, people are living in a Mars colony — here's what it looks…

OK, so they're not living on Mars. But they're doing the next best thing, which is participating in a simulated Mars colony in Utah, where they are learning a lot about how people would behave in a harsh, cold climate with nothing but a small trailer full of atmosphere to live in. Organized by the Mars Society, this… » 12/25/12 2:00pm 12/25/12 2:00pm

Will humans continue to evolve during multigenerational space missions?

Scientific American has posted an interview and podcast with Portland State University anthropologist Cameron Smith about the ways in which humans might evolve during extended missions in space. Given the intense timeframes involved, Smith speculates about the various ways in which Darwinian pressures will continue to … » 12/20/12 12:30pm 12/20/12 12:30pm

Why we should send uploaded astronauts on interstellar missions

The awesome 100 Year Starship (100YSS) initiative by DARPA and NASA proposes to send people to the stars by the year 2100 — a huge challenge that will require bold, visionary, out-of-the-box thinking. One possible solution is mind-uploading — what could give rise to highly versatile and resilient software-based… » 12/13/12 3:37pm 12/13/12 3:37pm

How to Train for Long-Duration Spaceflight, with Chris Hadfield

On December 19, 2012, a trio of Expedition 34 crewmembers are scheduled to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and head towards their home in space for six months, the International Space Station. Among the crew is Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who for over two years has been training for this… » 12/11/12 3:30pm 12/11/12 3:30pm