Though scientific feats that seemed impossible to achieve a century ago have in recent history become possible, humankind is far from through progressing scientifically. As science and technology progress, the fantastical suits and spaceships we see in science fiction films are coming to realization in real life. Below are five science fiction projects that may become available in the near future.
5) Commercial Space Travel
Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is busy developing new commercial spaceships, which, unlike NASA ships, bear similarities in appearance to the spaceships we are all used to seeing in sci-fi movies. When the company’s spaceships are complete, people will have the opportunity to visit space in planes for a few minutes at a time.
4) A Mars Colony
Elon Musk, the owner of space transport company, SpaceX, has been working with NASA to develop plans to colonize Mars and build a settlement of over 80,000 people. The technology needed to colonize Mars is still being developed, but the cost of the endeavor has already been determined ($36 billion). A ticket from Earth to Mars would potentially cost around $500,000.
3) Space Fighters
A robotic vessel called the “X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle” has recently returned from a covert testing session in low Earth orbit. The specifics of its mission are classified. It is interesting to note that the X-37B is not a NASA vehicle, but a military aircraft. Though the only comment US Air Force officials have made on X-37B is that its mission was successful, its purpose can be speculated upon. The ship could have been designed for spy missions, it could be a bomber plane made for space, or just an ordinary shuttle built to carry loads of cargo to space stations. Perhaps it is all three.
2) Space Lasers
The US Strategic Command is currently researching space laser weaponry. In space, lasers would have extremely long range and they’d travel at the speed of light. Chemical lasers and particle beams are in development, set to be completed in the next few decades.
In the near future, space travelers may be able to visit planets without landing their ship, due to recent developments in teleportation. Today, an early form of teleportation called quantum teleportation, which separates miniscule particles from their quantum states and teleports them to a different location, already exists. Future developments may find this technology able to transport actual matter.
Hayley is an amateur scientist, author and blogger residing in Oregon. She recommends the BA210 Compound Microscope from Microscope.com for Clinical, Home and School use. See more at http://www.microscope.com/compound-microscopes/. For fun chemistry experiments using your new microscope, visit chemistry.about.com.