Here's one engineer's take on how we remake exoplanets in the Earth's image.
Would you sign up for a trip to the Red Planet? That may be a very real option sometime soon: the Mars One Project wants to ship out a crew of four by 2023. How? By securing funds after "creating the biggest media event ever" surrounding the mission, and by sending waves of settlers to go live on Mars.
Helium-3 is a trendy new possibility for clean and efficient fusion power, but most of the Earth's supply has long since floated away like a party balloon. To get enough helium-3 to power an interstellar spacecraft (and the rest of the planet for the forseeable future), Project Icarus wants to send floating robotic gas mines to Uranus.
It's about time that we humans get off our butts and start exploring (and colonizing) our solar system in person. The only thing that's really holding us back is access to a fast and/or efficient way of getting where we want to go, but there are a bunch of new technologies in the works that could take us to Mars and beyond, and many of them may realize themselves within the next few decades. Earlier today, Russia announced that they'll be hosting international talks with the US, China, France, Germany and Japan on how to develop (and eventually construct) a nuclear-powered interplanetary spaceship. Nuclear engines are certainly promising, and achievable with current or near-term technology, but they're not the only way to go. Here's a look at 11 more or less realistic ways of traveling around our solar system.
Getting to Mars is going to involve building a huge spacecraft and loading it up with tons of fuel and radiation shielding. Unless, that is, we could just tag along with a spacecraft that's already headed in that direction, like an asteroid.