Six new countries have signed memoranda of understanding with Bigelow Aerospace. Bigelow is one of the leading private contenders to get private space modules launched and used by humans. They already have two test modules in Earth orbit and are working on a bigger version to be launched in the next couple of years. NASA has a role in space, I think, but so do private entities.
Could plans for one-way Mars trips be the thing that finally spurs us to being human exploration and colonization of the planet? That’s what Earth scientist Dirk Schulze-Makuch and physicist Paul Davies argue in a new article in the Journal of Cosmology. I think our species needs to colonize other bodies if we are to survive on galactic time-scales. I’m unsure whether one-way trips are the way to kick that process off, but am open to the idea.