Supersonic transport - a civilian supersonic aircraft designed to transport passengers at speeds greater than the speed of sound. To date, the only SSTs to see regular service have been Concorde and the Tupolev Tu-144.High Altitude Platforms - a quasi-stationary aircraft that provides means of delivering a service to a large area while staying thousands of feet above in the air for long periods of time. A HAP differs from other aircraft in the sense that it is specially designed to operate at a very high altitude (17–22 km) and is able to stay there for hours, even days. The new generation of HAPs, however, will expand this period to several years. Solar energy is one of best options currently being used for under trial HAPs. Miniaturized satellite - are artificial satellites of low mass and size, usually under 500 kg (1,100 lb). One example is a satellite designed by Estonian students, EstCube-1. Rigid Airships - a type of airship in which the envelope retains its shape by the use of an internal structural framework rather than by being forced into shape by the pressure of the lifting gas within the envelope as used in blimps (also termed pressurized airships) and semi-rigid airships. Rigid airships are often casually referred to by several other names such as dirigibles, zeppelins. Latest names for these is Aeroscraft. Reusable launch system - a launch system which is capable of launching a launch vehicle into space more than once. This contrasts with expendable launch systems, where each launch vehicle is launched once and then discarded. One example of this is SpaceShipTwo (photo). Notice: the system uses the older technology - jet engines - to launch the center vehicle, which relies on rocket propulsion. Such combination of older and newer technology is typical for all transitional systems, as for example the early steam boats were also equipped with sails. Spaceplane - a vehicle that operates as an aircraft in Earth's atmosphere, as well as a spacecraft when it is in space. Only five spaceplanes have successfully flown to date, having reentered Earth's atmosphere, returned to Earth, and safely landed — the X-15, Space Shuttle, Buran, SpaceShipOne, and X-37. All five are rocket gliders. Photo: X-37 after landing in 2010, having spent 220 days in space. Flexible wings - a wing of a plane flaps like that of a bird. Illustration: X-53 Asteroid mining - the possibility of exploiting raw materials from asteroids and other minor planets, including near-Earth objects.Minerals and volatiles could be mined from an asteroid or spent comet then taken back to Earth or used in space for construction materials. Materials that could be mined or extracted include iron, nickel, titanium for construction, water and oxygen to sustain the lives of prospector-astronauts on site, as well as hydrogen and oxygen for use as rocket fuel. Colonization of Mars - project worked on by Elon Musk . Space elevator - a proposed type of space transportation system. Its main component is a ribbon-like cable (also called a tether) anchored to the surface and extending into space. It is designed to permit vehicle transport along the cable from a planetary surface, such as the Earth's, directly into space or orbit, without the use of large rockets. This structure is held in tension between Earth and the counterweight like an upside-down plumb bob. On Earth, with its relatively strong gravity, current technology is not capable of manufacturing tether materials that are sufficiently strong and light to build a space elevator. However, recent concepts for a space elevator are notable for their plans to use carbon nanotube orboron nitride nanotube based materials as the tensile element in the tether design. The measured strength of these molecules is high compared to their densities and they hold promise as materials to make an Earth-based space elevator possible.
Scramjet - a variant of a ramjet airbreathing jet engine in which combustion takes place in supersonicairflow. As in ramjets, a scramjet relies on high vehicle speed to forcefully compress and decelerate the incoming air before combustion (hence ramjet), but whereas a ramjet decelerates the air to subsonic velocities before combustion, airflow in a scramjet is supersonic throughout the entire engine. This allows the scramjet to operate efficiently at extremely high speeds: theoretical projections place the top speed of a scramjet between Mach 12 (9,100 mph; 15,000 km/h) and Mach 24 (18,000 mph; 29,000 km/h)
Pulse detonation engine - a type of propulsion system that uses detonation waves to combust the fuel and oxidizer mixture. In June 2008, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) unveiled Blackswift, which was intended to use this technology to reach speeds of up to Mach 6.
Hypertelescope - the idea of an astronomical interferometer where the individual telescopes seen as parts of a fractionated spacecraft or a satellite constellation are positioned in a spherical arrangement (requiring the individual telescopes to be positioned to a fraction of a wavelength). It might theoretically show features on Earth-like worlds around other stars.Inflatable space habitat - pressurized structures capable of supporting life in outer space. "Nautilius-X" - space station with artificial gravity. The spacecraft was designed[when?] for long duration (one to twenty-four months) exo-atmospheric space journeys for a six-person crew. In order to limit the effects of microgravity on human health, the spacecraft would be equipped with a centrifuge. The spacecraft itself is proposed to be relatively cheap by manned spaceflight standards as it is projected to only cost US$3.7 billion. In addition, it may only need 64 months of work. Some modules are inflatable (see above). Solar sail - a form of spacecraft propulsion using the radiation pressure (also called solar pressure) from stars to push large ultra-thin mirrors to high speeds.
Electric sail - a proposed form of spacecraft propulsion using the dynamic pressure of the solar wind as a source of thrust. It uses an electric field for deflecting solar wind protons and extracting momentum from them. It was invented by Pekka Janhunen from Finland in 2006 at the FMI and creates a "virtual" sail by forming an electric field on small wiresIon thruster - a form of electric propulsion used for spacecraft propulsion that creates thrust by accelerating ions. Picture below: test firing an ion thruster by NASA, 1999. The almost imperceptible thrust from the ion propulsion system is equivalent to the pressure exerted by a sheet of paper held in the palm of your hand. The ion engine is very slow to pick up speed, but over the long haul it can deliver 10 times as much thrust per pound of fuel as more traditional rockets.
Terraforming - the theoretical process of deliberately modifying its atmosphere, temperature, surface topography or ecology to be similar to the biosphere of Earth to make it habitable by Earth-like life. Similar to planetary engineering.Alcubierre drive - a speculative idea based on a solution of Einstein's field equations in general relativity as proposed by theoretical physicist Miguel Alcubierre, by which a spacecraft could achieve faster-than-light travel if negative mass existed. Rather than exceeding the speed of light within its local frame of reference, a spacecraft would traverse distances by contracting space in front of it and expanding space behind it, resulting in effective faster-than-light travel. Currently, some Warp-field experiments are conducted.