Just to get to Mars you would have to spend seven months in a "transit habitat" with three other people. I don't know if any Mars One executives have ever seen The Shining, but if they haven't, they probably should.
I've focused my picks on man-made monoliths that are enormous enough to make you grab for your camera and text message friends.
Last weekend, something very unusual happened -- I found myself in the right place at the right time. That was because the National Space Society was holding its 2012 International Space Development Conference right here in Washington, D.C., just a week after I'd moved in for my Congressional internship.
The next pair of Venus transits won't be until 2117 and 2125. So, unless you are lucky and healthy enough to live for another 105 years, this will be your last chance to see a Venus transit from the surface of the Earth. But -- aha! there's the catch -- "from the surface of the Earth."
No matter what the nation decides regarding the future of manned spaceflight, the success of Dragon these past couple of weeks have established that SpaceX will have a role to play in that future.
Although space exploration began in the U.S.A., what role will Americans play in the space revolution, and will it be with the support of or in spite of our own government? The answers will determine the speed and scale of the most important leap forward in the history of our species.
They share the goal to see the expansion of exploration but must acknowledge the new economic and political realities we face. Resistance will not help usher in the sustainable future they desire!
For all the Star Wars and Star Trek resonances in this mission, Robert Heinlein's The Man Who Sold the Moon seems a better fictional precursor.
After dealing with a buildup of static electricity and a few other minor problems, an announcement suddenly flashed across the main TV screen -- an unknown object had been detected, on a collision course with the Spacecraft!
Recently, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk told 60 Minutes that the reason he seeks to develop spacecraft is to save humanity itself.
Spaceflight is hard. Really hard. And that's one reason that we bother going to space at all.
We discuss a term used in Battleship -- "Goldilocks planet" -- where "the porridge is just right" for life. And this leads to the notion that if there were life out there, would it resemble Hollywood aliens, friend or foe?
Certainly, there is no replacement for Earth, and Mars will never be a replacement for Earth. But we do need to move forward, and mission proposals, such as BOLD, will be the first step toward a grand vision.
Currently there are not enough young people studying STEM subjects, which would put them on the path to enter the industry and ensure that the United States continues to be the world's leader in aerospace.