Deep-space journeys will have plenty of downtime.
Astronauts traveling to Mars and beyond would face serious psychological challenges. A well-designed media program – based on an old-fashioned schedule – might help make life at least a bit easier.
Spend many months attached to the ISS and see how well you grow.
If you want to live on Mars, you're going to need to grow food. Seeds are naturally equipped to handle challenging Earth environments, but how well can they survive what they'll encounter off-planet?
The star TRAPPIST-1 with three of its planets.
ESO/M. Kornmesser/N. Risinger (skysurvey.org)
Despite not being able to see them, we know a fair bit about our exoplanet neighbours.
There are loads of applications for 3D printers in space.
Between the Earth and the moon: An artist’s rendering of a refueling depot for deep-space exploration.
Sung Wha Kang (RISD)
To get us to Mars and beyond, a team of students from around the world has a plan involving lunar rovers mining ice and a space station between the Earth and the moon.
In conversation: Martin Rees.
The Astronomer Royal answers some of the world's – and the universe's – biggest questions.
Look ma, no gravity!
Every moment of life on our planet has had the force of gravity in the background. But the prospect of long-distance space travel means it's time to figure out what happens to our biology in its absence.
Separated at launch. Scott and Mark Kelly.
A twin experiment in space can help us prevent diseases on Earth.
Artist’s impression of the surface of the planet Proxima b, orbiting Proxima Centauri.
Scientists have finally found an Earth-like planet we may actually be able to visit.
Scientists are working out how to grow plants in space, ready to use them as food when we visit other planets.
Tim Peake, Yuri Malenchenko and Tim Kopra are about to return to Earth after a six-month stay at the ISS.
In theory, astronauts get the equivalent of a lethal x-ray dose during a six-month stay at the ISS. Here's why we don't have to worry too much though.
Ron Garan during one of his four spacewalks.
Former NASA astronaut Ron Garan speaks his mind about space travel, terraforming and religion.
Are we soon to visit Alpha Centauri (left)?
Building a tiny starship may be doable. The big challenge will be making sure it survives all the hazards in interstellar space.
A render of the BEAM attached to the International Space Station.
Inflatable space habitats, like the one installed on the International Space Station this week, could see wide application in space and planetary exploration.
The European Space Agency is exploring what we can learn from animals about long-term deep sleep.
Walk on the wild side.
Scott Kelly's year in space is over. Now we need to know what it did to his body.
Out of this world.
We already have much of the technology we’d need to start a colony on another planet.
Tragedy: Challenger exploded shortly after launch from the Kennedy Space Centre.
We should honour the dead by striving to go further.
No warp drives or worm holes required.
© 2014 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM
Four decades later, I find myself surveying 13 billion years of cosmic history and mapping events that really did happen a long time ago in galaxies far, far away.