05/26/2014 10:21 am ET Updated May 26, 2014

This Is What Kids Imagine Our Future In Space Will Look Like (IMAGES)

From personal jetpacks to a permanent colony on Mars, things that were once squarely in the realm of science fiction seem to be on the way to becoming scientific fact. What do kids make of all the progress? Are they upbeat on the changes? Or wary?

To find out NASA's Langley Research Center recently hosted "The Future Is Now," an art contest for students ranging from kindergarteners to 12th graders.

“The idea was for young artists to take technologies that once seemed far away and explore how they were becoming reality today,” Langley spokesperson Kristina Ruhlman said in a written statement.

It turns out that the contestants envisioned our future with equal parts optimism and pessimism, as Gizmodo noted.

"Optimism, it would seem, that we will one day conquer the stars in a way that our grandparents had only dreamed," Matt Novak wrote on Gizmodo's "Paleofuture Blog." "Pessimism, in a way that can only be communicated with a handful of arctic animals surrounded by melting ice and an oppressive sun rising behind them."

Take a tour through our future with a selection of the drawings below.

  • NASA/Rachel Pike
    Rachel Pike, 11th Grade -- 1st Place
  • NASA/Izarra Mitchell
    Izarra Mitchell, 1st Grade
  • NASA/Desirae Sievers
    Desirae Sievers, 6th Grade -- 1st Place
  • NASA/Samantha Wilhelm
    Samantha Wilhelm, 1st Grade
  • NASA/Rachel Gizaw
    Rachel Gizaw, 4th Grade
  • NASA/Ben Murphy
    Ben Murphy, 8th Grade
  • NASA/Zoe Birtolacci
    Zoe Birtolacci, Kindergarten
  • NASA/Logan McConnell
    Logan McConnell, 5th Grade -- 1st Place
  • NASA/Libby Fickel
    Libby Fickel, 8th Grade -- 1st Place
  • NASA/Zachary Ching
    Zachary Ching, 4th Grade
  • NASA/Jasmine Peñalosa
    Jasmine Peñalosa, 6th Grade
  • NASA/Caitlin Thaeler
    Caitlin Thaeler, 4th Grade
  • NASA/Ella Basak
    Ella Basak, 3rd Grade
  • NASA/Angela Preisach
    Angela Preisach, 3rd Grade -- 1st Place
  • NASA/Rebecca Basak
    Rebecca Basak, 3rd Grade
  • NASA/Emma Krooner
    Emma Krooner, 4th Grade
  • NASA/Nala White
    Nala White, 3rd Grade
  • NASA/Tyjah James
    Tyjah James, 1st Grade
  • NASA/Rachel Shaffer
    Rachel Shaffer, 1st Grade
  • NASA/Channing Lee
    Channing Lee, 2nd Grade
  • NASA/Savannah Holmes
    Savannah Holmes, 2nd Grade
  • NASA/Veronica Alvarez
    Veronica Alvarez, 4th Grade -- 1st place
  • NASA/Lauren Young
    Lauren Young, 5th Grade
  • NASA/Samantha Simmons
    Samantha Simmons, 8th Grade
  • NASA/Grace Eberhard
    Grace Eberhard, 8th Grade
  • NASA/Rhonda Walker
    Rhonda Walker, 8th Grade