In the Future...Space Travel

I think this is the one post I have been looking forward to writing more than any other.  What will we be seeing in the next ten years as far as missions go?  The Kepler telescope is busy looking for earth-sized planets orbiting sun-like stars.  Within a few years, there could be some huge news.  It wouldn't be absolute proof, but we would be another step closer to finding out if we are alone or not.   

There is also New Horizons which will give us our first close up photos of the (non)planet Pluto.  I am looking forward to seeing what it looks like since the only photos are blurry, pixelated or simulated.  Pluto was overlooked during the Voyager missions because of its oblique orbit, but now it is the subject of its very own mission.  It will also go beyond and look at the Kuiper Belt.  Now, on to longer term predictions.

I may sound a little optimistic, but by 2025 we will return to the moon for a survey mission this time around.  This trip will be the first in a series to establish a moon base, but that project may not start for another twenty-five years after that.  The International Space Station will be extended to aid in this project.  Since this is a prediction post, I will go out on a limb and predict that we will make it to Mars in my lifetime (I may be really, really old).

There will be more joint missions between various space agencies around the world in order to understand our own solar system.  There will be a mission to Jupiter's frozen moon Europa to look for possible life in the ocean of water under the ice.  I can also see a concerted effort to catalog and track many more asteroids to help protect our planet.  There you have it, what I think will happen in space travel in the future.  As I read over it, there is nothing really earth-shattering that I predicted, but it is all thrilling.