Planetfall by Emma Newman isn’t what you’re expecting from a book about humans colonizing another planet. It’s much weirder, and in the end, a fair bit darker. This is a story about human failings—and the fact that we expect to understand alien beings, when we can’t even understand each other.
The more we learn about exoplanets and the physics of interstellar travel, the more daunting the prospect of traveling to other stars appears. But in a new essay for Reuters, House of Suns author Alastair Reynolds lays out exactly what we’ll have to do to get to other solar systems.
Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy filled us all with hope that we could terraform Mars in the 21st century, with its plausible description of terraforming processes. But now, in the face of what we've learned about Mars in the past 20 years, he no longer thinks it'll be that easy.
When humans finally travel to Mars, what will their first buildings look like? ZA Architects envision an underground colony with spiderweb floors spun from basalt fibers.
Whether or not you think that certain endangered animals are worth all the fuss— *cough*pandas*cough*—judging by the internet's recent, excited tittering over a potential panda pregnancy, the majority of people are very much pro-animal kingdom diversity. So much so, in fact, that a team of Japanese scientists has…
Rocks collected by NASA's Spirit rover on Mars show evidence of an oxygen-rich atmosphere some 3.7 billion years ago. This is a very strong indicator of life, with scientists describing the ancient Martian environment as "wet, warm and rusty."
If you watched the movie Moon, you remember Helium-3 as the substance Sam Bell was sending back to Earth, during his onerous three year tenure on the Sarang lunar base. Helium-3 is not a piece of science fiction, but an isotope of helium that really could provide for all of our energy needs in the future. With…
Easter Island is the most remote place humans have ever colonized, and the fact we got there at all is a miracle. Now it looks like this island was colonized not once, not twice, but three entirely separate times.
Let's face it: Faster than light travel may never be possible, and even near-light speeds may be a pipe dream. But what if we could open a wormhole, to let us jump to another solar system? Or travel in time?
The craggy Martian terrain is daunting for wheeled probes, and Mars' distance from Earth makes refueling rovers impossible. English scientists are exploring the possibility of harnessing radioactive isotopes and Mars' abundant carbon dioxide to launch probes across the Martian landscape.
All current plans to send human explorers to Mars suggest the first mission is 25 years away. But a one-way journey could actually be possible very soon, and it might be just what we need to kick-start human space exploration.
Earlier this month, a NASA researcher mentioned the "Hundred Year Starship," a plan to develop research and technology for one-way human space missions. But since then, all parties have been surprisingly mum on the subject. Why all the secrecy?
Excited by the success of the "big idea" movie Inception, Warner Bros. has given the green light to Expulsion, a spec script from bestselling novelist Gregg Hurwitz. An act of terror destroys the Earth, leaving a handful of human survivors to escape to a planet beyond our solar system. (And how a ruined Earth…
The Mars Society is a group that prepares for man's eventual exploration of Mars with simulations in the Utahan desert. But their mission logs, posted regularly on the group's website, reveal a tension that is very real—and very funny.
As the Asian space race heats up, nations are beginning to ask who owns Earth’s lone satellite. According to a prominent researcher on the subject, lunar property rights should be strictly first come, first served.
Buzz Aldrin has stepped from his pedestal once again to talk about the space program. No longer content to bash science fiction for destroying interest in real space exploration, Aldrin has turned his attention to a crewed mission to Mars, saying that if we do send humans to the Red Planet, we shouldn’t bother…
NASA churned out a lot of concept art in the 1970s while the agency was exploring ways to build colonies in space. NASA concept artists created trippy pieces like the Cynlidrical Colony above, and Torodial and Bernal Sphere colonies as well. We'd like to imagine that you could low-grav the whole thing, and just leap…