How we’ll leave Earth for good
In October 1968, the astronauts Apollo 7 mission into space sent and US kick-started the race to reach the Moon. Now, 50 years on, we look at some of the discoveries and technology that will help us set up a permanent new home in space
If we want to build a new civilisation in space, we’re going to have to make maximum use of our species’ ability to adapt and innovate.
Planet Earth has been home to humans for hundreds of thousands of years, and it’s served us well. But with the global population ever growing, and humans continuing to pollute and plunder the Earth’s finite resources, our planet is looking increasingly imperilled. A 2012 World Wildlife Fund report estimated that by 2030 we’ll need the equivalent of two planets in order to sustain our lifestyles. And it’s pretty much a certainty that we’ll have to move at some point, with the Sun forecast to increase in brightness and boil away our oceans in around a billion years’ time.
So scientists are beginning to look towards the stars, figuring out how we might one day set up base elsewhere. Over the following 10 pages, we look at the latest research into how we’ll harness resources, build a settlement, grow food, make babies and stay healthy on our new home. WORDS: COLIN STUART AND KELLY OAKES