Category: Space Travel

Space subjects that will get the world’s attention in 2019 – and beyond

The first few days of 2019 brought remarkable news from outer space. On January 1 NASA’s New Horizons space probe made the most distant planetary flyby ever, and captured images of a small object 4 billion miles away from earth....

/ January 13, 2019

From volcanoes on Mars to scarps on Mercury – how places on other worlds get their names

The New Horizons spacecraft, which flew past Pluto in 2015, successfully completed a flyby of “Ultima Thule”, an object in the Kuiper belt of bodies beyond Neptune on January 1, 2019. The name Ultima Thule, signifying a distant unknown place,...

/ December 31, 2018

Curious Kids: What are some of the challenges to Mars travel?

Curious Kids is a series for children. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, send it to curiouskids@theconversation.edu.au You might also like the podcast Imagine This, a co-production between ABC KIDS listen and The Conversation, based...

/ November 26, 2018

What happens to the brain in zero gravity?

NASA has made a commitment to send humans to Mars by the 2030s. This is an ambitious goal when you think that a typical round trip will anywhere between three and six months and crews will be expected to stay...

/ November 19, 2018

How Canadian technology could protect Space Force troops

U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence has announced that the United States plans to establish a “Space Force.” President Donald Trump endorsed the announcement in a follow-up tweet. The response was mixed: Some support, some pushback. The topic also became fodder for...

/ August 16, 2018

Space tourism economics – financing and regulating trips to the final frontier

American engineer and businessman Dennis Tito paid US$20m in 2001 to become the world’s first official space tourist. He travelled to the International Space Station (ISS) on a Russian Soyuz capsule and then spent eight days on board, prompting some...

/ July 25, 2018

Method of making oxygen from water in zero gravity raises hope for long-distance space travel

Space agencies and private companies already have advanced plans to send humans to Mars in the next few years – ultimately colonising it. And with a growing number of discoveries of Earth-like planets around nearby stars, long-distance space travel has...

/ July 10, 2018

Mars mission: how increasing levels of space radiation may halt human visitors

From surviving take off to having to rely on oxygen tanks to breathe in orbit, space travel is incredibly risky. But a huge hazard that we sometimes overlook is high energy radiation from sources both inside and outside the solar...

/ March 29, 2018

Does your DNA really change in space?

Results from an important NASA experiment – in which astronaut Scott Kelly spent one year in space while his identical twin brother Mark stayed on Earth – have started to come in. Last week, a number of media outlets reported...

/ March 22, 2018

Curious Kids: Where does the oxygen come from in the International Space Station, and why don’t they run out of air?

This is an article from Curious Kids, a series for children. The Conversation is asking kids to send in questions they’d like an expert to answer. All questions are welcome – serious, weird or wacky! Where does the oxygen come...

/ December 5, 2017

Flying chariots and exotic birds: how 17th century dreamers planned to reach the moon

People have been dreaming about space travel for hundreds of years, long before the arrival of the spectacular technologies behind space exploration today – mighty engines roaring fire and thunder, shiny metal shapes gliding in the vastness of the universe....

/ December 1, 2017

China and the US are both shooting for the moon – but don’t call it a space race

On the face of it, it looks like two of the world’s biggest powers are racing to get astronauts back on the lunar surface. China is aiming to land crew on the moon by 2036, while on the other side...

/ November 8, 2017

Secret weapon for space travelers: A steady diet of TV?

No one knows for sure what a long-range space journey will be like for the people on board. Nobody in the history of our species has ever had to deal with the “Earth-out-of-view” phenomenon, for instance. How will it feel...

/ September 26, 2017

Seeds in space – how well can they survive harsh, non-Earth conditions?

Will we someday colonize space? Will our children visit other planets? To achieve goals like these, we’ll need to crack one crucial challenge: how to feed ourselves for long periods away from Earth. A trip to Mars would take months,...

/ September 15, 2017

When the world is not enough: how to find another planet to live on

The seafaring explorers of the 16th century famously found many new homes for humanity in faraway, unknown corners of the world. While it may seem that such colonisation has since ground to a halt, some have argued it is only...

/ September 11, 2017

A 3D-printed rocket engine just launched a new era of space exploration

The rocket that blasted into space from New Zealand on May 25 was special. Not only was it the first to launch from a private site, it was also the first to be powered by an engine made almost entirely...

/ May 30, 2017

Mining the moon for rocket fuel to get us to Mars

Forty-five years have passed since humans last set foot on an extraterrestrial body. Now, the moon is back at the center of efforts not only to explore space, but to create a permanent, independent space-faring society. Planning expeditions to Earth’s...

/ May 15, 2017

Aliens, very strange universes and Brexit – Martin Rees Q&A

Martin Rees is Emeritus Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics, at the University of Cambridge, the Astronomer Royal, a member of Britain’s House of Lords, and a former President of the Royal Society. The following interview was conducted at Trinity College,...

/ April 3, 2017

Life on Earth is used to gravity – so what happens to our cells and tissues in space?

There’s one force whose effects are so deeply entrenched in our everyday lives that we probably don’t think much about it at all: gravity. Gravity is the force that causes attraction between masses. It’s why when you drop a pen,...

/ March 10, 2017

NASA sent a twin to space to study nature versus nurture – and we’re starting to get results

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly recently spent one year in space, while his identical twin brother Mark (a former NASA astronaut himself) stayed on Earth. The mission was part of an important health experiment, looking at how being in space affects...

/ February 7, 2017