The 4 Most Insane Space Plans Ever Conceived

Exploring our vast universe has always been an intriguing project for humans. We have accomplished a lot and learned a great deal about our universe in such a short amount of time. The great thing is that we have only scratched the surface of what is possible when it comes to space exploration. There have been a number of proposed ideas that have not come to fruition (and might not ever), but these concepts have nonetheless, pushed the boundaries of what is possible. Here are the 4 most insane space plans ever conceived.

Building A Moon Base

In 2006, President George W. Bush laid out his vision for the future of NASA. However, after 10 years, little of the Constellation program survives. One of the more ambitious concepts within the program was the creation of a base on the moon. The base would provide a more permanent human habitation on our only natural satellite. The base was coined the Neil A. Armstrong Lunar Outpost, and plans for the base had it situated near a pole to reduce solar radiation exposure as well as give astronauts the possibility of collecting water. Essentially, the base would function much like the International Space Station.

A Cloud City On Venus

A few years ago, two NASA scientists proposed the idea of setting our sights on building a cloud city on Venus. While the planet is inhospitable, the top two layers of the atmosphere are actually quite balmy, with an atmospheric pressure similar to Earth. Creating a city above Venus would allow scientists to study Venus and learn how this planet, that used to be very similar to Earth, gained the runaway greenhouse effect that turned it inhospitable.

Colonizing Jupiter’s Moon

Europa may actually be the best place to find life in our solar system. The major issue is that Jupiter has very deadly radiation that precludes exploration by live humans. A 2003 proposal suggested that the moon Callisto serves as the staging point for a manned Jupiter outpost. On this moon, the radiation damage is much less pronounced, and ices could provide a reliable water source. Having humans stationed on Callisto would allow scientists to control robotic probes on Europa and Ganymede without the long time lags that would crop up when trying to communicate with them from Earth.

Telescope On The Moon

The moon has been an extremely intriguing candidate to host a telescope because of its super-thin atmosphere. This would cut down on a lot of interference. A few of the proposal for moon telescopes have been bandied about, including a liquid mirror telescope that could peer vast distances into the cosmos. There is a possibility that two private companies could beat NASA and put a telescope on the moon first.


Earth Found Its Cousin!

As you may have heard, a great discovery was made by astronomers about a week ago concerning a planet that has very, very similar characteristics to our very own Earth. Kepler-452b is the first planet to meet all three criteria related to earth – it contains a similar size, habitable-zone orbit, and sun-like star. Though the new planet’s radius is 1.6 times the size of ours, and it orbits its star every 385 days compared to our 365 days, Kepler is seemingly just like Earth.

But, unfortunately, figuring out Kepler-452b’s composition is a lot harder to do than determining its physical size. According to an article published by, “To even begin guessing about a planet’s composition, you have to start with its density, and for that you need its mass. There’s no way to measure mass directly from Kepler data, and the planet is too small and faint for ground-based follow-up,” (Young, Kepler Discovers Earth’s Closest Cousin Yet).

That being said, the team that discovered Kepler does know a lot about its solar system. Astronomers are studying the G-type solar sibling (Kepler’s Sun) that is 1.5 years older than our Sun based on stellar evolution models, and serving as a glimpse into our own solar system’s future. With the help of planetary geologists and atmospheric scientists, we can make an educated hypothesis about the mass and atmosphere of the planet, which is said to be rocky with five times Earth’s mass and twice Earth’s surface gravity. Scientists also predict that Kepler has both active volcanoes and significant cloud cover.

The discovery of Kepler-452b proves to be a huge change in the mission for NASA astronomists, with the help of new, state-of-the-art technological and software improvements. According to, “It’s the software improvements that enabled researchers to bag new candidates, and an 8th catalog with further improvements is planned for next year. With a fully automated pipeline, the Kepler team can now mimic the decisions that researchers were making manually. That means that all of the planet candidate detections can be re-evaluated using the full dataset, a feat not possible before,” (Young, Kepler Discovers Earth’s Closest Cousin Yet).

The news of Kepler-452b’s discovery is huge in the world of astronomy and marks a turning point for a new age of technology catered to space.