Space Exploration Resources
Identify a challenge related to expanded space exploration and propose a solution.
These resources are entirely optional and may be used as a starting point to find background information.
- Design and Engineering
- Well-Being and Collaboration
- Equity and Inclusion
- General Space Research Resources
Design and Engineering
- Solving the Challenges of Long Duration Space Flight with 3D Printing
"Astronauts on these long voyages need to be able to make their own spare parts, tools and materials essentially on demand – both for routine needs and to adapt quickly to unforeseen ones. In-space manufacturing (ISM) using 3D printing technology could be an answer."
- NASA's Explore Space Tech
This hub will lead you to NASA articles about technology being used and tested in space.
- Escaping the Tyranny of the Rocket Equation
"While the reusability of low-Earth orbit launch vehicles and crew modules can improve cost efficiency, deep space missions require payloads on an inherently larger scale."
- The Past and Future Space Suit
"Until recently, their iconic appearance has been driven by an adage of design—form follows function. They appear simple at first glance, but there is a level of complexity beneath a space suit’s surface layer that matches human motion and protects its occupant from the harsh environment of space."
- Five ways artificial intelligence can help space exploration
"Advances in AI have allowed us to make progress in all kinds of disciplines – and these are not limited to applications on this planet. From designing missions to clearing Earth’s orbit of junk, here are a few ways artificial intelligence can help us venture further in space."
- Artificial intelligence in space
"Currently spacecraft need to communicate with Earth to do their job, but developing autonomous spacecraft that use artificial intelligence to take care of themselves would be very useful for exploring new parts of the Solar System and reducing mission costs."
Well-Being and Collaboration
- Fighting the Loneliness of Space Travel
This video from SciShow Space talks about some of the challenges of isolation and loneliness in space travel.
- Astronaut Scott Kelly on the Psychological Challenges of Going to Mars
Astronaut Scott Kelly talks about his own personal experience with space travel and the challenges of a long space mission.
- The biggest challenges to humans on long-term spaceflights
"Researchers don’t know every possible issue that astronauts will encounter during an extended stay in lunar orbit, a roundtrip flight to Mars, or a journey to Jupiter’s icy moon Europa. But space medicine researchers are taking the data they do have — from analog long-term missions carried out on the ISS and human isolation experiments carried out on Earth, as well as animal studies — to prepare astronauts for what breaking the bonds of Earth will do to both their bodies and minds."
- Red risks for a journey to the red planet: The highest priority human health risks for a mission to Mars
"To ensure success of these missions, health and performance risks associated with the unique hazards of spaceflight must be adequately controlled. These hazards—space radiation, altered gravity fields, isolation and confinement, closed environments, and distance from Earth—are linked with over 30 human health risks as documented by NASA’s Human Research Program. "
- To give astronauts better food, engineers test a fridge prototype in microgravity
"Astronauts have been going to space since 1961, but they still don’t have a refrigerator to use for keeping food cold on long missions to the moon or Mars."
- How to keep astronauts sane: The psychology of long-duration space missions
"When it comes to space missions, we normally think about the challenges in terms of technological developments. But if we ever hope to send a manned mission to Mars, then we’re going to have to confront not only our technological but also our psychological limitations."
- How they Eat, Drink and survive in Space ׃ Sunita Williams in The International Space Station
Astronaut Sunita Williams demonstrates some of the adaptations for living and working in space.
Equity and Inclusion
- Bringing Gender Equity to Space
"In the spring of 2019, Anne McClain and Christina Koch were set to perform the first all-female space walk outside the International Space Station. Then a problem arose: Both fit better in medium-sized upper torso spacesuit assemblies. While there were two mediums aboard, only one had been prepped for a spacewalk."
- Outer Space Activities Must Benefit All States, No Matter Their Development Levels, Delegates Tell Fourth Committee as It Begins General Debate
"Emphasizing that the benefits of outer space must be accessible to all countries, regardless of their development level, delegates said today that they should not be restricted to those with space programmes, as the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) began its general debate on international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space."
- Meet the space trailblazers of color who empowered others to dream
"Harris is among those who helped pave the way for Artemis, NASA’s diverse astronaut team selected to prepare for future lunar missions — including sending the first woman and the next man to walk on the moon in 2024. This program, established in 2017, will also land the first person of color on the moon, a goal the Biden-Harris administration announced in April."
- Why Women’s Bodies Are Better Suited for Space Travel
“We are already in a position to say that certain qualities of the female space pilot are preferable to those of her male colleague.”
- The jaw-droppingly high, out-of-this-world carbon footprint of space tourism
"Burning these propellants provides the energy needed to launch rockets into space — but it simultaneously generates greenhouse gases and air pollutants. "
- Clean and eco-friendly space
"As a forward-thinking space agency, ESA is pioneering an eco-friendly approach to space exploration. With the amount of space debris on the rise, and the negative effects of industrial materials, processes and technologies on the environment, it is becoming vital that ESA not only reduces the impact of its own activities, but also sets an example to other agencies."
- Building an ethical consensus for space exploration
"With plans for a human mission to Mars under way, Monica Vidaurri warns that there can be no progress without first tackling the ethics of human space travel"
- To boldly go ... responsibly
"Since Paleolithic times, settlement and development of new territories have been key to unlocking new resources and opportunities for our species. But along with the benefits have come catastrophe, including the spread of disease and destruction of cultures, the untimely death of explorers and pioneers, wars over newfound territories, and damage to the environment from the mixing of life from different ecosystems."
- Eight ethical questions about exploring outer space that need answer
"But should we care about the universe beyond how it affects us as humans? That is the big question – call it question #1 of extraterrestrial environmental ethics, a field too many people have ignored for too long."
General Space Research Resources
- 3 Unexpected Dangers of Space Travel
This video from SciShow Space talks about some space travel dangers you might not have considered.
- The 12 Greatest Challenges for Space Exploration
"Humanity was born on Earth. Are we going to stay here? I suspect—I hope—the answer is no."
- NASA's Humans In Space
This hub will lead you to all of NASA's articles about research on human space exploration.
- The ESA
Visit this page to learn about the current research and projects of the European Space Agency.
A site for articles on all things space and space research.
- Space Daily
A portal for space news.
- Science Daily
A direct link to Science Daily's Space Exploration news section.