TRENDING TOPIC

3, 2, 1, Blast Off: Now What?

As conversations surrounding mainstream space travel increase, so does the intrigue. Right now, NASA and others in the aerospace industry are focusing on technical details that address what it will take to boost travelers into space on a regular basis. Once that is figured out, what can passengers expect?

What will next-generation spacecraft and technology look like and how will it impact how we live, work and play in space?

Read here for more about the business of space travel.

Communications

Being far from Earth is hard on the body, both physically and mentally. The ability to communicate with loved ones will help. Two-way 3D holoportation will allow people to broadcast images of themselves to others so, together, they can interact in real time in the same space.

See the possibilities.

Housing

Living quarters in the International Space Station (ISS) now consist of confined spaces. Future visions involve cozy, 3D printed pods that are similar to beehive-shaped eggs. The homes initially will be habitats that can be attached to space stations with the intention of eventually having a cluster of homes branch off and develop into self-sustaining structures.

Take a look at one vision for home living in space and check out plans for a lunar outpost.

Image credit: Axiom Space

Nutrition

Most food and beverages will be stored in lockers, secured with nets and packaged as freeze-dried foods and beverage powders so they won’t spoil or float away. You’ll need tape and Velcro to keep items in place but when it’s time to eat, in most cases, just add water. Lots of nonperishables such as peanut butter and jelly will be in heavy rotation, and tortillas will often be used in place of bread. But don’t worry, one day food in space could be top-chef quality! To help with weight loss and malnutrition, the way to good health is supplements.

View NASA’s call for new and sustainable food production systems.

Exercise

Did you know that in space, bone density can drop 1% a month or that the lack of gravity stretches the spine and people grow taller? To keep bodies strong, exercise may include riding a bike where a seatbelt-like harness will keep you from floating off, and using resistance training equipment to get a workout that’s similar to lifting weights.

See how astronauts stay in shape!

Medical

How is human health handled in space? What happens if there is a medical emergency? Hospital units will be comprehensive. There will be ultrasound imaging and systems for analyzing blood and urine. Training ahead of time for handling healthcare assets in space and conducting CPR and basic procedures will be required. Videoconferencing with medical professionals here on Earth will be a key component of medical care.

Explore more about healing the human body in space.

Training

An individual traveling to space will have to be a jack-of-all-trades, and will need to train — in many ways — as an astronaut does. At least initially, at any given moment, a person may be called upon to be an engineer to fix an equipment issue, be a horticulturist to grow fresh produce, or be a medical professional to handle a medical issue. Training beforehand will address all of this and more, including microgravity training and managing the psychological effects of space travel.

Get a glimpse at what civilian training can look like. 

Work

One of the fastest-growing industries on Earth is the business of space. From in-space research to satellite placements and more, the space economy has grown by over 60% during the last 10 years to become a $469 billion industry. As a way of keeping people and businesses space-bound, NASA is advocating for a constant human presence and multiple commercial space stations in low-Earth orbit.

Learn about NASA’s plans.

Image credit: Axiom Space

Thought Leaders

Josh Foerschler

Aerospace, Defense and Space Lead for Project Development

Richard Pruss

Regional Practice Manager