Researchers in the UK, USA, Italy and the Netherlands are working on a “living spaceship” to launch in 100 years. The self-sustaining spacecraft will rely on biotechnologies to carry people beyond our Solar System. Organic matter, algae, artificial soil, production of biofuel and sustainable foods are all part of the plan.
The project, dubbed Project Persephone, is part of Icarus Interstellar, a nonprofit foundation aiming to achieve interstellar flight by 2100. Other projects include Icarus (an unmanned fusion-powered interstellar probe), Helius (an investigation of laser-initiated pulse propulsion), Tin Tin (a nanosat mission to Alpha Centauri) and Forward (a beamed energy/sails initiative for interstellar propulsion).
Image: The Daedalus, another Icarus Interstellar concept (artist’s impression). Credit: David A Hardy
NASA is plotting a daring robotic mission to Jupiter’s watery moon Europa, a place where astronomers speculate there might be some form of life.
The space agency set aside $15 million in its 2015 budget proposal to start planning some kind of mission to Europa. No details have been decided yet, but NASA chief financial officer Elizabeth Robinson says that it will be launched in the mid-2020s.