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Future Space Travel

Part of Space Exploration and Mars

The great thing about technology is it is always changing and adapting and getting better. For instance, we built rockets. Then, we built rockets that could carry instruments. Then, we sent those rockets into space. Then, we put people in those rockets. Then, we built a space station in space! What’s next?

Well, it turns out, quite a lot! Currently, the European Space Agency (ESA) is working with partners of the International Space Station to build the new lunar Gateway – a new space station that will orbit around the Moon. This will allow astronauts and scientists to study the Moon and provide a stopping point (in the future) between Earth and Mars. It will also help scientists develop the kind of protection humans will need in deep space (away from the protection of the Earth’s magnetic shield).

Another near-futuristic likelihood is lunar habitation – that is, living on the Moon! For now, it would only temporarily – to do research, but there is a possibility of making more permanent moon habitats further into the future. ESA has already drafted a concept for a Moon Village, and NASA has plans to lay the infrastructure for a moon habitat in 2024. China, Japan, and Russia all have plans, as well, to build lunar surface habitats or bases in the next ten years.

Follow our Build Your Own Moon Habitat worksheet to build your very own Moon base.

Space tourism is another near-future possibility. Virgin Galactic has already brought five civilians to the edge of space and plans to open up space tourism for many more this year. SpaceX, Blue Origin, Boeing, and Orion Span are other companies looking to capitalise on space tourism as well.

Do you think we should put money into human or robotic space exploration?

Watch this video from Royal Museums Greenwich and let us know what you think!

Human or robotic space exploration?
Human or Robotic Space Exploration? - Royal Museums Greenwich
ESA – Human Spaceflight and Robotic Exploration Future
Human Spaceflight and Robotic Exploration Future (ESA)
Future ESA Moon Village Habitat
Future ESA Moon Village Habitat Architectural firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill has designed a semi-inflatable four-level Moon Village habitat. The four-person crew quarters would be on the ground floor to maximise radiation protection.
Build Your Own Moon Habitat<
Build Your Own Moon Habitat (PDF)

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