It is easy to imagine that the space shuttle's retirement has edged the Space Age toward closure, at least in terms of human flight beyond the bounds of earth. In fact, there are more people-carrying ships being constructed now than at any time since Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space half a century ago. Some are already servicing the International Space Station – which, incidentally, has ensured a permanent human presence in space for the last two decades, and is set to continue and expand for decades yet to come.
What's more, NASA is no longer the only big player in the space game. Commercial, non-governmental space exploration is becoming a reality rather than just a pipe dream. What orbital adventures await us in the next five decades? Will humans ever again head into deep space, as the Apollo astronauts once did? NASA's new hardware is aimed toward asteroid missions, and ultimately, Mars, but there is a significant chance that a government funded space agency will not be the only – or even the first – organization to send humans across the solar system.
Get ready to experience the excitement of adventure with New Space Frontier. Through gorgeous photography and engaging writing, noted space and science author Piers Bizony speculates beyond just today's hardware and explores what might be possible for the next generation.