In less than two years, the New Horizons space probe is going to go whizzing by an object a billion miles further away from us than Pluto at speeds of up to 30,000 miles per hour. We know generally where that object—MU69, a cold dark object in the Kuiper Belt—will be thanks to telescope observations, otherwise we wouldn't be able to rendezvous with it at all, but like a blind date, we're not 100 percent sure what to expect. Details like the shape, exact size, color of the object and even if it has close neighbors all remain elusive.
I did not throw up. When I tell people that I've ridden in a zero-g plane, invariably they ask, propriety be damned, if I threw up. So, it's best to address that aspect of zero-g straight away. Though I dutifully stick the company issued barf bag in my flight suit's pocket—just in case—my stomach's contents remain my stomach's contents through the many 30-to-40 second cycles of less than Earth's gravity. Five other fliers—all men—are significantly less fortunate.
If humans are ever really going to make it to Mars, we're going to need a bigger boat. Today's spaceships are built for short hauls to and from the International Space Station, a mere six or so hours away. These ships, like the Russian Soyuz, SpaceX's Dragon, NASA's upcoming Orion capsule, are small, cramped, and they don't have bathrooms or sleeping quarters.