NASA Wants You To Travel To Far-Off Worlds Someday
But for now, these cool exoplanet posters are the best the agency can do
As if you needed any more encouragement to visit alien planets. NASA’s been searching high and low for extrasolar planets—the Kepler Space Telescope recently found it’s 1,000th exoplanet. And in case you’re having trouble deciding which one you’d like to visit first, the agency has put out a trio of posters, in the style of the U.S.’s old Works Progress Administration, advertising the wonders in store for travelers beyond our solar system.
Take, for example, Kepler-186f, which orbits a star emanating red-wavelength rays that could change many of the colors that we take for granted, like the grass, for example. The Earth-size planet orbits in the ‘habitable zone’, meaning that people might some day be able to walk (and live) on its surface.
Walking may not be much of an option on HD 40307g, which has eight times the mass and twice the volume of Earth and subsequently much higher gravity. The planet might not even have a rocky surface, rather one composed of ice and gas. So don’t forget to pack your thermal underwear.
Finally, there’s always Kepler-16b, which NASA compares to Luke Skywalker’s homeworld of Tatooine, thanks to its pair of stars. But if you’re holding out hope for Jawas, Tusken Raiders, and moisture farms, think again—it might be more of a Saturn-like gas giant.
Ultimately, travel to such distant planets is still the stuff of science fiction, so your frequent flyer miles aren’t going to get you trips to these worlds any time soon. But if it piques your interest in extrasolar travel, well, that’s all good for NASA.