According to the Science Channel, the technology needed for space exploration ranges from solar sails to power spacecraft to super-precise, atomic-powered instruments for navigation and laser relays for long-distance communication. These technologies are still in early stages of development and may be ready for testing in the next few years, according to NASA.
Deep space exploration is a complex task because it involves immense distances. According to the Science Channel, one way in which astronauts could travel over millions of miles is by using a spacecraft equipped with giant solar panels. The solar sails accelerate a spacecraft continually at a steady rate so the spacecraft can reach a high rate of speed.
Astronauts traveling aboard these spacecrafts can navigate the vast emptiness of space using an ultra-precise mercury-ion atomic clock that is 100 times more stable than existing navigational clocks. They can also use laser beams aboard the spacecraft to transmit data back to Earth at a speed of 100 Mps and recycle air and water in space using specialized systems.
NASA engineers are also developing robots that give astronauts the ability to explore different planets and scope out the available resources. Robots such as the Mars rover are already being used by NASA to conduct research on the surface of Mars.