The future of humanity in space



The first space colonists have already been born! Find out how they’ll live, work and play – and how humanity will change forever – in a 26-page special on the future of humanity in space. Out now in the Dec 2010 issue of COSMOS, Australia’s #1 science magazine.

FINAL FRONTIER: Gigantic space settlements in high orbit may well be humanity’s first tentative dip into the cosmic ocean. Robin McKie talks to a new breed of entrepreneurs who work to make such engineering marvels a reality.

TOMORROW PEOPLE: Our four-limbed, one-headed body is just right for living on Earth. But what changes might the low-gravity, radiation saturated environment of space bring to our species? Lewis Dartnell finds the answers.

MISSION TO MARS: Going to Mars will stretch human technology and ingenuity to its limits, say Fred Guterl and Monica Heger. But for humanity to spread across the Solar System, it’s a challenge we need to overcome.

ROCKET SCIENCE: Expanding across the Solar System will require more than a simple blast off, says Sandra Upson – and a range of promising new propulsion technologies are being investigated.

SECOND NATURE: One hundred years ago, Henry Ford revolutionised manufacturing with the assembly line . Now the scene for another revolution is set, this time with cells, argues Peter Lavelle. Is Craig Venter the new Henry Ford?

ANIMAL PHARM: Transgenic animals are poised to become pharmaceutical factories, churning out everything from natural insulin to cancer treatments. Branwen Morgan reports.

THE ORIGIN OF ANIMALS: The humble sea sponge has a surprisingly intricate genome including the blueprint for complex vertebrates – and it’s not even a true animal. Elizabeth Finkel reports.

TRAVELOGUE – LAND BEFORE TIME: Hundreds of millions of years ago, simpler life forms with bizarre designs roamed the Earth. Heather Catchpole goes to Australia’s Kangaroo Island to help unearth our ancient past.

PROFILE – WEB OF LIFE: After inspiring a generation of environmentalists, Canadian geneticist David Suzuki reflects on his past and his hopes for the future. By Kate Arneman.

DIAGNOSIS: Mozzie bites that give you arthritis.

HIT LIST: The top 10 most influential ancient Arabic scientists.

GALLERY – BIG SCIENCE: A photo essay featuring the most powerful science experiments on Earth prove that if you want to unlock the mysteries of the universe, you have to think big. By Becky Crew.

FICTION – ACT OF FAITH: The robot recited the call for prayer. “Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar …” When he completed the call, and turned to face Daud, he saw tears streaming from the old man’s eyes. Original new fiction by Fadzlishah Johanabas bin Rosli.

REVIEWS: Sci-fi author Alastair Reynolds on his upcoming trilogy and Fiona Stanley reveals her most influential books. Plus, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot; “Curious and Curiouser” by Karl Kruszelnicki; “Pygmonia” by Peter McAllister; “Brain Storm” by Rebecca M. Jordan-Young; “Planets” by One Ring Zero; and more.

OPINION – GOING TO SEED: It’s the International Year of Biodiversity but Australia doesn’t have much to celebrate: we’re giving up on preserving the genetic diversity of plants, says Elizabeth Finkel.

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