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When will the first baby be born in space?

When the first baby is born off-Earth, it will be a milestone as momentous as humanity’s first steps out of Africa. Such a birth would mark the beginning of a multi–planet civilization for the human species.

For the first half-century of the Space Age, only governments launched satellites and people into Earth orbit. No longer. Hundreds of private space companies are building a new industry that already has US$300 billion in annual revenue.

I’m a professor of astronomy who has written a book and a number of articles about humans’ future in space. Today, all activity in space is tethered to the Earth. But I predict that in around 30 years people will start living in space – and soon after, the first off-Earth baby will be born.