Category: Spacecraft

The Moon was a first step, Mars will test our capabilities, but Europa is the prize

The prize, Europa, a watery world. NASA The icy moon Europa is perhaps the most tantalising destination in our solar system. Scientists have been trying for years to kickstart a mission to Jupiter’s most enigmatic moon, with very Earth-like concerns...

Five Billion Years of Solitude: Lee Billings on the Science of Reaching the Stars

Like many geeks of the post-Sputnik generation, I grew up hoping that space travel would be common by the time I reached middle age. Weaned on a youthful diet of speculative fiction by the likes of Ray Bradbury and Arthur Clarke, raised on Star Trek and The Outer Limits, and thrilled by real-life hero Neil Armstrong’s “one small step” onto the gravelly surface of the Moon when I was in elementary school, it never occurred to me that humankind’s manifest destiny in the stars would be undone by changing political winds, disasters like theChallenger explosion, and a mountain of debt to pay for misguided military adventures like the War in Iraq.