Alicia Jackson, deputy director of DARPA’s Biological Technologies Office (BTO) said in a biotech conference:
For the first time, we have the technological toolkit to transform not just hostile places here on Earth, but to go into space not just to visit, but to stay.
NASA has created a brand new design for a heavy-lift launch vehicle. The Space Launch System (SLS) will be designed to carry the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle.
The newest cutting edge technology from the Constellation and Space Shuttle programs will be used for the new system. Flight tests are scheduled to begin in 2017.
Phil Plait, the skeptic and astronomer, of Discover Magazine's Bad Astronomy blog section noted a report about the amount of earth-mass planets in the galaxy and used some quick math to estimate the number of earth-like planets in our galaxy that could potentially be habitable.