next article

The future of space
By Reuters -

Space Launch System (SLS) 70-metric-ton configuration, new heavy-lift rocket of NASA, designed to fly astronauts to the moon, asteroids and eventually to Mars, is seen launching to space in this undated artist rendering released August 2, 2014. REUTERS/NASA/MSFC/Handout

A concept of an undated artist shows the test vehicle for Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) of NASA, a helium balloon carrying an experimental saucer-shaped NASA spacecraft designed to test landing technologies for future Mars missions. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout

The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) expandable space habitat technology is displayed during a media briefing in Las Vegas January 16, 2013. REUTERS/NASA/Bill Ingalls/Handout

People take pictures as the SLS five-segment Solid Rocket Motor, part of deep-space launcher project of NASA, undergoes a static test fire at the Orbital ATK facility in Promontory, Utah March 11, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

A prototype of a free-flying space robot equipped with a smartphone, known as Smart SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient Experimental Satellites), is pictured in this undated handout photo courtesy of NASA. REUTERS/NASA/Handout

The Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) Dream Chaser flight vehicle, a privately owned prototype space plane, is readied for 60 mph tow tests at Dryden Flight Research Center of NASA in Edwards, California, August 2, 2013. REUTERS/NASA/Ken Ulbrich/Handout

The Sunshield test unit to be used on James Webb Space Telescope of NASA is stacked and expanded at a cleanroom in the Northrop Grumman facility in Redondo Beach, California. The Sunshield separates the observatory into a warm sun-facing side and a cold side where the sunshine is blocked from interfering with the sensitive infrared instruments. REUTERS/NASA/Chris Gunn/Handout

New Earth-bound rover, GROVER, which stands for both Greenland Rover and Goddard Remotely Operated Vehicle for Exploration and Research, in Summit Camp, the highest spot in Greenland, is shown in this May 10, 2013 release. GROVER is an autonomous, solar-operated robot that carries a ground-penetrating radar to examine the layers of ice sheet of Greenland. Its findings will help scientists understand how the massive ice sheet gains and loses ice. REUTERS/NASA/Handout

 WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft mothership of Virgin Galactic, which landed safely after splitting from SpaceShipTwo, is seen in a hangar at Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, California November 4, 2014. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

The unmanned SpaceX Crew Dragon lifts off from launch pad 40 during a Pad Abort Test at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida May 6, 2015. REUTERS/Scott Audette

In this artist concept, the Cassini spacecraft makes a close pass by moon Enceladus of Saturn
to study plumes from geysers that erupt from giant fissures in the southern polar region of moon. REUTERS/NASA/Karl Kofoed

Chirold Epp (in blue shirt), Johnson Space Center Project Manager for ALHAT, speaks to members of the media while showing off the Morpheus prototype lander, part of the Lunar Catalyst program to develop lunar landers, in Cape Canaveral, Florida, August 1, 2012. REUTERS/NASA/Handout

Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft of NASA is pictured orbiting near the surface of the moon, in this artist illustration released August 15, 2013. REUTERS/Dana Berry/NASA Ames/Handout

Technicians work on the heat shield of Orion space capsule of NASA at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, in this undated handout photo. Measuring 16.5 feet in diameter, the heat shield is made from a single seamless piece of Avcoat ablator. REUTERS/NASA/Handout

The X-51A Waverider, an unmanned aircraft that could reach speeds up to 3,600 mph, in flight. REUTERS/US Air Force

A SpaceX upgraded Falcon 9 rocket undergoes launch preparations at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California September 27, 2013. REUTERS/Gene Blevins

A 1.79 percent scale model of a future concept supersonic aircraft built by Boeing. REUTERS/Quentin Schwinn/NASA

Volker Maiwald (L), executive officer and habitat engineer and Hans van Ot Woud, a mapping researcher and the health and safety officer of Crew 125 EuroMoonMars B mission, return to the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) outside Hanksville in the Utah desert, March 3, 2013. The MDRS aims to investigate the feasibility of a human exploration of Mars and uses the Mars-like terrain of Utah desert to simulate working conditions on the red planet. Scientists, students and enthusiasts work together developing field tactics and studying the terrain. All outdoor exploration is done wearing spacesuits and carrying air supply packs and crews live together in a small communication base with limited amounts of electricity, food, oxygen and water. Everything needed to survive must be produced, fixed and replaced on site. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Robonaut 2 is shown in the Destiny laboratory of International Space Station during a round of testing for the first humanoid robot in space, January 2, 2013. Robonaut is a testbed for exploring new robotic capabilities in space, and its form and dexterity allow it to use the same tools and control panels as its human counterparts do aboard the station. REUTER/NASA/Handout

An artist concept of Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft of NASA approaching Mars. The Curiosity rover is safely tucked inside the aeroshell of the spacecraft. REUTERS/ NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout

The Boeing X-37 Orbital Test Vehicle, an unmanned reusable spacecraft. REUTERS/NASA

Physicist Daniel Schildhammer wears the Aouda.X spacesuit simulator during a field test of Oesterreichisches Weltraum Forum (Austrian space forum) inside the Eisriesenhoehle (giant ice cave) at Dachstein mountain near the village of Obertraun April 28, 2012. The Aouda.X is a spacesuit simulator for manned missions to Mars, which is being developed under the Mars Analog Research Program PolAres and allows to simulate environmental conditions, a real space suit would be faced on Mars. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

A computer-generated image of the Atrium aircraft, which will enable space tourists to experience weightlessness while carrying passengers briefly outside the atmosphere of the earth. REUTERS/EADS Atrium/Marc Newson Ltd/NASA

Argentine aerospace engineer Pablo de Leon, a NASA team member, collects samples as he tests a space suit designed for possible use in Mars at Marambio base in Antarctica, March 13, 2011. The NDX-1 space suit, designed by De Leon, endured frigid temperatures and winds of more than 47 mph (75 kph) as researchers tried out techniques for collecting soil samples on Mars.The $100,000 prototype suit, created with NASA funds, is made out of more than 350 materials, including tough honeycomb Kevlar and carbon fibers to reduce its weight without losing resistance. REUTERS/Nasa/Handout

NASA astronauts Cady Coleman and Ricky Arnold step into the Orion crew module hatch during a series of spacesuit check tests conducted at the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas on June 13, 2013. The Orion crew module will serve as both transport and a home to astronauts during future long-duration missions to an asteroid, Mars and other destinations throughout our solar system. REUTERS/NASA/Handout