When deciding where to holiday in the distant future one might consider planet Earth.¬†”Your oasis in space where the air is free and breathing is easy.”
Imagined by The Studio at NASA JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), Visions of the Future is a series of travel posters promoting far out destinations across the universe. The posters were illustrated taking inspiration from the future-retro styles of the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s. Though the posters depict only a possible reality, they’re based on actual discoveries made through NASA JPL’s exploration of Earth, the solar system and the universe by robotic spacecraft. The job of the design team at JPL is to creatively visualise this work in order to share it with the public in an accessible and exciting way. They released these posters saying, “Imagination is our window into the future. At NASA JPL we strive to be bold in advancing the edge of possibility so that someday, with the help of new generations of innovators and explorers, these visions of the future can become a reality. As you look through these images of imaginative travel destinations, remember that you can be an architect of the future.”
Three of the posters in the collection were created by Don & Ryan Clark at Invisible Creature whose grandfather worked as an illustrator and graphic designer for NASA for 30 years.
All fourteen posters are available for free for you to print at home.
NASA‚Äôs Voyager mission took advantage of a once-every-175-year alignment of the outer planets for a grand tour of the solar system. The twin spacecraft revealed stunning details about Jupiter,¬†Saturn, Uranus and Neptune ‚Äì using each planet‚Äôs gravity to send them on to the next destination. Voyager set the stage for such ambitious orbiter missions as Galileo to Jupiter and¬†Cassini to Saturn. Today both Voyager spacecraft continue to return valuable science from the far reaches of our solar system.
NASA’s Mars Exploration Program seeks to understand whether Mars was, is, or can be a habitable world. Mission like Mars Pathfinder, Mars Exploration Rovers, Mars Science Laboratory and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, among many others, have provided important information in understanding of the habitability of Mars. This poster imagines a future day when we have achieved our vision of human exploration of Mars and takes a nostalgic look back at the great imagined milestones of Mars exploration that will someday be celebrated as ‚Äúhistoric sites.‚Äù
The discovery of Enceladus’ icy jets and their role in creating Saturn’s E-ring is one of the top findings of the Cassini mission to Saturn. Further Cassini mission discoveries revealed strong evidence of a global ocean and the first signs of potential hydrothermal activity beyond Earth ‚Äì making this tiny Saturnian moon one of the leading locations in the search for possible life beyond Earth.
The new additions join a series of posters by NASA JPL‚Äôs David Delgado, Dan Goods and Joby Harris¬†advertising potentially habitable exoplanets (planets that orbit a star).
Twice as big in volume as the Earth, HD 40307g straddles the line between “Super-Earth” and “mini-Neptune” and scientists aren’t sure if it has a rocky surface or one that’s buried beneath thick layers of gas and ice. One thing is certain though: at eight times the Earth’s mass, its gravitational pull is much, much stronger.
Like Luke Skywalker’s planet “Tatooine” in Star Wars, Kepler-16b orbits a pair of stars. Depicted here as a terrestrial planet, Kepler-16b might also be a gas giant like Saturn. Prospects for life on this unusual world aren’t good, as it has a temperature similar to that of dry ice. But the discovery indicates that the movie’s iconic double-sunset is anything but science fiction.
Kepler-186f is the first Earth-size planet discovered in the potentially ‘habitable zone’ around another star, where liquid water could exist on the planet’s surface. Its star is much cooler and redder than our Sun. If plant life does exist on a planet like Kepler-186f, its photosynthesis could have been influenced by the star’s red-wavelength photons, making for a color palette that’s very different than the greens on Earth. This discovery was made by Kepler, NASA’s planet hunting telescope.
Ceres is the closest dwarf planet to the Sun. It is the largest object in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, with an equatorial diameter of about 965 kilometers. After being studied with telescopes for more than two centuries, Ceres became the first dwarf planet to be explored by a spacecraft, when NASA’s Dawn probe arrived in orbit in March 2015. Dawn’s ongoing detailed observations are revealing intriguing insights into the nature of this mysterious world of ice and rock.
While there is much debate over which exoplanet discovery is considered the “first,” one stands out from the rest. In 1995, scientists discovered 51 Pegasi b, forever changing the way we see the universe and our place in it. The exoplanet is about half the mass of Jupiter, with a seemingly impossible, star-hugging orbit of only 4.2 Earth days. Not only was it the first planet confirmed to orbit a sun-like star, it also ushered in a whole new class of planets called Hot Jupiters: hot, massive planets orbiting closer to their stars than Mercury. Today, powerful observatories like NASA’s Kepler space telescope will continue the hunt for distant planets.