What’s Next For Space Exploration?

NASA has some exciting plans to learn more about our universe

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has accomplished some pretty amazing things since forming on July 28, 1958.

From putting man on the moon to recent explorations of Mars, NASA's missions have led to countless advancements in science and technology. And there’s more to come!

THE RED PLANET

In 2015, NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) provided the strongest evidence yet that liquid water is flowing intermittently on the red planet. The presence of water opens up a range of possibilities – like the potential for humans to live on Mars.

NASA say it plans to send humans to Mars in the near future. The space agency has previously floated the 2030s as their target for putting humans on the red planet.

Last year, six NASA recruits began a year-long simulation of life on Mars, living under a dome near a volcano in Hawaii.

The experience is designed to explore how humans will respond to the isolation of a mission to Mars – scientists estimate the trip will take between one and three years.

DRONES TO EXPLORE THE MOON’S VOLCANOES

NASA engineers are designing new drones that can fly into lava tubes and the remains of the moon’s extinct volcanoes.

The drones, which are design to hover just above the surface of the moon, could help scientists search for water and minerals that a future lunar colony could utilise.

A SPACE SHOTGUN TO SHOOT ASTEROIDS

NASA is working with a New York-based company to create the world’s first space shotgun.

As part of the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), the gun will be used to shoot asteroids to test their strength and composition.

THE SPACE MISSION THAT COULD SAVE THE WORLD

Scientists from NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) will attempt to alter the path of an asteroid by smashing into it with a probe.

If successful, the same technique could be used to deflect future asteroids than might head towards Earth.

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