Top 5 Tips to Organise your Learning Time

Whether you are an adult learner or a teenager who is juggling multiple subjects, working efficiently and effectively can be challenging.

But it doesn’t have to be. The solution lies in being organised – specifically with your time.

Tip 1:  Use a diary system that works for you

Whether you prefer a handwritten calendar or an electronic one, think about colour coding it.

Perhaps you could assign a different colour for each subject.  Or maybe a different colour for different aspects of your life.

This is a great visual method to ascertain whether you are spending enough time on your learning, and helps you dedicate a solid part of your day to it rather than thinking ‘I’ll do that later’ and never quite getting around to it.

Tip 2:  Quality over quantity

Effective learning doesn’t depend on how many hours you put in. It depends on what you do in that time.

So when organising your learning time, don’t simply slot study periods into your diary. List what you will specifically work on during that time. This will not only help you stay on-track but also ensure that you are making steady progress in all areas that need attention.

Don’t forget to schedule in some relaxation too!

Tip 3:  Master the art of prioritising

Look ahead at your learning schedule and think about what you need to do now, and what can wait until tomorrow (so to speak).

It can be overwhelming when you have a long list of tasks – especially if you feel like all of them had to be completed yesterday. But when you zoom in, you will see that you can divide your list into manageable chunks.

This will help you actually complete your list and is a great strategy if you have a tendency to procrastinate.

Tip 4:  Spend more time on things you find hard

We all like the feeling of being successful. So when we find something difficult, we can often be tempted to avoid it. This is the opposite of what you need to do. Think about it: if you spend more time on things you find hard, they will soon become easier.

Tips 1 to 3 feed into this – if you dedicate specific time to the harder topics, and prioritise them over ones you have already mastered, your learning will be more effective.

Tip 5:  Find out when you learn best

Some of us work better in the mornings, others at night. Still others find it is easier to work in the afternoon. Find out what your own peak learning time is. It will be when you make the most progress, feel freshest and absorb learning best.

Cramming before an exam is tempting and in principle, it can be effective. But only as long as you choose your study time wisely.

On 25th January 2019, the Doomsday Clock was moved closer to midnight, from three to two and a half minutes to twelve.

Created by the board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in 1947, the Doomsday Clock began as a visual representation of the world’s response to nuclear threats. In contrast to the perils it represents, the idea of the clock is very simple. The nearer to midnight the minute hand is placed, the closer the board of Atomic Scientists believes the world is to disaster. Midnight being a representation of the moment of a worldwide apocalypse.

The aim of this shock tactic is to raise awareness of how close human beings are getting to destroying the planet they inhabit. Speaking to USA Today, a representative from the Atomic Scientists explained that the clock “conveys how close we are to destroying our civilisation with dangerous technologies of our own making.”

When the Doomsday Clock was first invented, the scientists involved were also working on the Manhattan Project; a programme responsible for the construction of the first nuclear weapons. Very aware of the consequences of what they were doing, they introduced the clock to warn of the weapons’ power. In this first instance, the hands were set at 7 minutes to midnight.

Since its birth, the clock hands have been moved backwards and forwards. At its ‘safest,’ it was set at seventeen minutes to midnight in 1991. In 1953, at the height of the Cold War, the clock hands were moved to two minutes to midnight, when the USA invented the hydrogen bomb.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists gives the reason behind the current placement of the hands at two and a half minutes to minute in 2019, as “the failure of President Trump and other world leaders to deal with looming threats of nuclear war and climate change”.

There is no doubt that the reasoning behind the Doomsday Clock is both serious and worrying, but what factors are used to conclude its position?
Eugene Rabinowitch, from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, explains that several factors are taken into consideration when deciding the placement of the hands. These include nuclear threats, climate change, bioterrorism, biosecurity and side threats, such as cyber warfare. “The Bulletin’s clock is not a gauge to register the ups and downs of the international power struggle; it is intended to reflect basic changes in the level of continuous danger in which mankind lives in the nuclear age.”

Just how accurate is the Doomsday Clock, then? Well, the sad truth is that we won’t know until it’s too late. It can’t be denied however, that it does make you stop and think.

War is the only proper school for a surgeon.
– Hippocrates

The First World War was a watershed moment in history. Never before had such a relatively short period in time seen such seismic shifts in technology, society and culture. The newly industrialised nature of the conflict and parallel stalemate of the trenches, all under near-constant artillery bombardment, was fertile ground for rapid innovation. In just four years the battlefields of France and beyond saw the introduction of tanks, militarised aircraft, machine guns and chemical warfare. But what war harms, society inevitably must find ways to heal. These novel technologies of death and destruction brought with them wounds and bodily disorders completely new to medicine, and as a result the medical field would embark on a journey of similarly hasty scientific advancement.

Physical Injury

The nature of trench warfare meant that, with soldiers’ bodies protected most of the time, there were a disproportionate amount of head and facial injuries. Surgeons were at a loss as to how best to treat these horrific wounds and burns, often stitching together open wounds with no time to consider the consequences of the healing process.

At Sidcup in London, a New Zealand-born, British-trained surgeon, Harold Gillies, was a crucial figure in the development of reconstructive surgery. Gillies advocated a highly experimental, never-before-seen method of treating facial gunshot and burn victims with skin grafts – taking tissue from, for example, the chest or leg and using it to repair the face – a technique still in mainstream use today. In a pre-antibiotic age, his pioneering “Pedicle Tube,” a tube of skin leading from the donor site to the graft site, allowed blood flow from a healthy area of the body to the injured area, nourishing the graft tissue, and preventing infection.

Other advancements in the treatment of physical injury included the Thomas splint, developed by Welsh surgeons Hugh Owen Thomas and Robert Jones, which drastically reduced the number of deaths from broken bones, and the mobile X-ray unit, invented by Marie Curie in France and launched onto the battlefields with the help of 150 female operators.

Disease and Infection

It wasn’t just physical injury that soldiers risked on the frontlines. Disease, including the 1918 flu pandemic, accounted for around one third of military casualties, while around six million civilians perished due to disease and war-related famine. After seeing the widespread death caused by Typhoid fever during the Second Boer War, a British bacteriologist called Almroth Wright lobbied the British Army to provide 10 million vaccines against the disease to its troops on the Western Front, preventing, by some estimates, around half a million deaths.

Infection originating from wounds was also rife, thanks in part to the foul conditions in the trenches, where lice and mud were ubiquitous. An antiseptic solution developed by the French-British partnership of Alexis Carrel and Henry Dakin drastically reduced the need for amputation due to sepsis.

The Advancement of Medicine in World War I

From the ashes of war progress so often springs, the decay and destruction of conflict powering innovation and change. The First World War was billed as the war to end all wars, a title that as we well know could not have proved further from the truth, but soldiers and doctors of subsequent conflicts benefited immeasurably from the new medical knowledge, technologies and techniques that emerged from it.

On December 22nd 2018, following President Trump’s request for a federally-funded wall along the Mexican-American border being denied by the opposing Democratic Party, the United States Government found itself , once again, partially shut down. Three weeks later and this remains the situation, the country being held in an ever more expensive, damaging stalemate by a stubborn president and gridlocked Congress.

The shutdown has had a great impact on federally-funded services and has affected nearly 800,000 federal workers, causing many to have to work without pay. It is something that has occurred with alarming regularity under this President, but the latest instance is the most significant to date, becoming now the longest on record and showing little sign of an ending.

Every year, the President must sign budget legislation comprised of 12 appropriation bills, which outline the allocation of the federal budget to different government services and agencies, including the Department of Justice, the Transport Security Administration, US Department of Education, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Internal Revenue Services. Currently, Trump is refusing to sign a bill that does not include the requested funding for a wall at the Mexican-American border.

Trump’s unrelenting demand for $5 billion to pay for a Mexican-American Iron Curtain has halted the approval of federal spending for the 2019 fiscal year. Democrats in Congress refuse to support any further spending on the wall, while Trump continues to threaten extending the shutdown for months or even years until Congress approves funding for the wall.

Historically, the US Constitution states that Congress has the ‘power of the purse’ and therefore, the power to appropriate government funds. The 1974 Budget and Impoundment Control Act further instilled this, granting Congress greater budgetary power and curtailing presidential involvement in appropriating funds. Government shutdowns usually arise when the President and the House and Senate are unable to resolve budgetary disagreements before interim deadlines in a budgetary cycle. The American government’s unique division of power sets the framework for a shutdown that would not otherwise be possible in countries with parliamentary systems.

However, America is no stranger to full or partial government shutdowns. Classified as a ‘partial shutdown’, this is the 21st shutdown in American history, and as already stated, the longest. The first government shutdown occurred on May 1st, 1980, but lasted only one day. The most notable shutdown in American history previously happened in 1995-1996 when the government shutdown for 21 days due to a dispute between Democratic President Bill Clinton and the Republican-majority in Congress.

Regardless of how long it takes for the government to resolve the shutdown, the days in which the government isn’t functioning have considerable consequences for national service and federal employees. Chief among these is the fact that the federal employees working in the departments affected by the partial shutdown will not receive pay until it is over.

For many departments, such as the Transport Security Administration, workers are still required to go to work every day despite this lack of pay. With some workers simply unable to even get to work as another consequence, though, greater pressure is put on many of the employees working in roles such as those vital to airline safety. Additionally, with the National Park Services affected by the shutdown, a third of national parks have been closed. Those still open are left open to vandalism and without basic maintenance.

Now, Trump is looking to declare a national emergency to circumvent Congress to build his wall. However, while the future of the wall is still uncertain, the repercussions of Trump’s ceaseless fixation on illegal immigrants crossing the Mexican-American border and his inability to compromise with Congress on funding has certainly been, and continues to be felt across America.

In 2018 the BBC reported that over the last three years the number of children who are being homeschooled in the UK has risen by around 40%. It’s not hard to see why; for parents, ensuring their child’s schooling is top quality is vital, and home schooling is definitely worth consideration as the new school year starts. Whether you’re considering homeschooling for your little ones or terrible teens, choosing to self-teach offers the perfect method for many parents who seek a more hands-on approach in their children’s education. In the UK, as a parent you must ensure your child receives a full-time education from the age of 5, moving through Key Stages 1-3 and on to GCSE and potentially A-Level education.

So is homeschooling right for you? Whatever the age or abilities of your child(ren), learning from home presents many benefits. Let’s look at a few of these advantages, which may help you decide.

Avoid classroom distractions

Two of the main reasons influencing UK parents’ decision to choose homeschooling include protecting their children’s mental health and the ability to avoid exclusion. Being in a large classroom environment can present a number of challenges for children, including exposure to bullies, feelings of inadequacy from being around superior-performing peers and being singled out for being ‘different’ from other children. Many children may feel as if they simply don’t ‘fit in’. Home schooling offers a solution to avoid these situations and protect your children’s mental health and wellbeing.

One-to-one time

The chance to learn one-to-one rather than one-to-many offers many children the chance to feel fully involved and immersed in their own learning. This increases their chances of remaining engaged and interested in their studies. This also allows you, as a parent, to build a stronger bond with your child; to be able to identify their strengths and weaknesses and work with them on these. It is attention that they may not get in a large classroom environment.

Go at their pace

Homeschooling allows your child to proceed through their education at their own pace rather than that of scheduled class. Every child is unique, with their own abilities, and these abilities may vary from subject to subject. If your child needs more help with Mathematics and less so with English, you can adjust their learning schedule accordingly.

No school run

This means more healthy sleeping patterns and time to study – you have the time to flex your child’s learning timetable around your lifestyle and circumstances. You can take holidays when you want, too. A definite win-win.

Homeschooling offers many benefits over more traditional school classroom study. It’s worth weighing up the pros and cons of both options before making a decision to homeschool of course, and there are plenty of resources to do this, including the UK Government’s website, which can provide further advice.

In the January of 793, Danish Vikings attacked the small island of Lindisfarne, off the coast of Northumberland. They came early in the morning, attacking the monastery there, killing many of the monks, enslaving others, looting their gold and jewels and sacking the surrounding lands.

The Anglo Saxon Chronicles, which recorded much of life during the period, says that in AD.793, “This year came dreadful fore-warnings over the land of the Northumbrians, terrifying the people most woefully: these were immense sheets of light rushing through the air, and whirlwinds, and fiery dragons flying across the firmament. These tremendous tokens were soon followed by a great famine: and not long after, on the sixth day before the ides of January in the same year, the harrowing inroads of heathen men made lamentable havoc in the church of God in Holy-island, by rapine and slaughter.”

These chronicles, though broadly accurate in their recordings, are often prone to literary exaggeration, though; something that modern day films and fiction have continued to do when it comes to Viking behaviour. Although films and books like to paint the raid of Lindisfarne abbey as a complete sacking of the island, it is unlikely it was that extreme. Vikings were clever and sensible. They planned their raids carefully with a mind to leaving enough resources behind so that, after enough time had passed, they could revisit the area and profit from it again. Vikings were far from the mindless savages that they are sometimes portrayed to be.

The attack on Lindisfarne was only the beginning of a larger campaign to increase lands and resources. Raids on the British mainland continued in 794, when Viking ships attacked the monastery of Jarrow in Northumbria, and again in 795 when they targeted the Scottish island monastery of Iona, as well as various sites in Ireland. These raids were not as successful as the one on Lindisfarne as the weather was against them. The raid on Iona suffered particularly, with many Vikings lost to storms. After this setback it was not until 835 that such a large Viking force returned to Britain. This time hundreds of ships crossed the ocean and then rode up the country’s rivers. It was a tactic they copied across Europe, with France and Russia becoming similarly lucrative targets.

The Vikings originally came from the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The name doesn’t refer to them as a race, but more to a calling or way of life. A Viking was someone who joined an expedition expressly for the purpose of raiding others for personal gain. The Old Norse phrase fara i viking (“to go on expedition”) meant piracy and robbery. However, even though Vikings may have begun as pirates, they soon realised that the resources and minerals available in Britain and across much of Europe was worthy of a more organised attack strategy.

In time, the Vikings changed from opportunist raiders to armies who were ready to become localised communities and join and rule the resident population. The Viking incursions, which included further raids and subsequent settling, continued to hit the British coast until 1066. The attacks ended when the Norwegian king, Harald Hardrada (1046-1066) defeated the English king Harold Godwinson in 1066, a fact which contributed significantly to William the Conqueror’s Norman victory over King Harold at The Battle of Hastings later the same year.

Grigori Rasputin was born into a peasant family in a village in Siberia, Russia, in approximately 1869. At that time life in Siberia was hard. The area was virtually untouched by the rise in technology that was sweeping much of Europe during Industrial Revolution. As a result of his poor upbringing, Rasputin received little schooling and it is believed that he never learnt to read or write.

Accounts of Rasputin’s early years claim that he possessed supernatural powers, while others cite examples of extreme cruelty. It was this dubious, frightening reputation that was and has remained associated with Rasputin, and earned him the nickname, “the Mad Monk.”

In fact, although Rasputin entered the Verkhoture Monastery in Russia at the age of 19, with the intention of becoming a monk, he left shortly after to marry Proskovia Fyodorovna, with whom he had 3 children; only one of which survived. However, by his early 20’s he’d returned to what he considered his calling, and took on the life of a wandering holy man, or strannik, who lived off the goodwill and gifts from peasant communities he visited. It was on these travels, which took him as far afield as Greece and the Middle East, that Rasputin gained a reputation as a healer.

In 1903, Rasputin’s wanderings brought him to St. Petersburg. Such was his fame as a mystic and faith healer at this point, that by 1905 he was introduced to Russian Tsar Nicholas II and his wife, Alexandra Feodorovna. Desperate for help for their son Alexis, who suffered from haemophilia, they invited him to court. Rasputin was able to convince the Tsarina, falsely, that he could cure the boy, with the royal family firmly believing in his reputation as a starets; a Russian holy man.

In the following years Rasputin grew in influence. Then, in October 1912 Alexis became seriously ill. The Tsarina sent a telegram to Rasputin who replied that Alexis would live. He was proved correct. So it was that when the boy recovered, the Tsar and Tsarina’s faith in him was confirmed. But this success and rise to prominence would lead to his eventual downfall. Between 1906 and 1914, his association grew with the Royal family to the extent that he began to undermine the dynasty’s credibility by the press. His predictions also now took a darker tone. On the eve of World War One, he was saying that calamity would befall the country; A concerned Tsar Nicholas II took command of the Russian Army, with Tsarina Alexandra assuming responsibility for domestic policy. She dismissed ministers who warned her of Rasputin’s undue influence.

It was around this time, June 1914, when a woman named Khioniya Guseva stabbed but failed to kill Rasputin. It is believed that the woman, who’d been disguised as a beggar, stabbed him at the behest of a political rival. The stab wound was severe and led to Rasputin spending weeks in recovery after surgery. It would not be the last time such an attempt was made.

As the wandering monk’s influence over the Tsarina grew, the country’s officials became more worried about his power. It sealed his fate, as Prince Felix Yusupov, another member of the Russian royal family, finally decided that the murder of Rasputin was essential.

On 29th December a group of conspirators, including the Tsar’s first cousin, Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich and Prince Yusupov, invited Rasputin to Yusupov’s palace and fed him wine and cakes laced with cyanide. However, though Rasputin became rather drunk, the poison had no effect. Amazed that Rasputin had survived, the prince and his helpers then lured Rasputin to a party early in the morning of 30th December 1916. This time they made no mistake, as Prince Yusupov shot him. The murderers wrapped the body in a carpet and threw it into the Neva River. When Rasputin’s body was found three days later, three bullet wounds covered his body. He was buried on 3rd January 1917.

Yet even after his death, Rasputin’s strange reputation for prophecy did not fade. Just prior, he had predicted that if he were to be murdered by government officials, the entire imperial family would be killed by the Russian people. It came true 15 months later, when the Tsar, his wife and all of their children were murdered by assassins amidst the Russian Revolution.

Christopher Colombus’ legacy presents him as the great Italian explorer who discovered the New World. Venerated by Colombus Day and in history textbooks alike, their depictions of him as the hero of the New World paint a rather skewed picture of him and his explorations. The less romantic reality is that, with his famous voyage in 1492, Colombus didn’t just discover the New World, he forcibly took it.

Funded by the Spanish monarch, Colombus set out on an expedition on August 3rd, 1492, to find a Western route to India – a route he never actually found. On December 5th, 1492, he and his crew reached their third landfall of the trip, Hispaniola, or present-day Haiti.

When Colombus landed in Hispaniola, he was warmly welcomed by the indigenous Taino people, a subgroup of the Arawak people who were populous throughout the Caribbean. The Taino were a well-developed community with an established social system. They were farmers, navigators, artists, and above all, peaceful inhabitants of the New World – their world.

In every sense of the word, the Taino were an advanced society; they just weren’t advanced in Colombus’s sense of the word. They used farming techniques for crop cultivation, went hunting and fishing and were divided into two social classes under a chiefdom. They had clan laws, spoke an Arawakan language, and wrote in petroglyphs ( rock engravings ). Before Colombus’s arrival, they were a thriving agricultural society.

On his first voyage, Colombus agreed with Cacique Guacanagari, a leader of the Taino people, that he could leave some men on the island to establish a settlement. La Navidad, the first colony in the New World, was thus founded. But in a sign of things to come, the colony was quickly destroyed by the greed of the settlers, as violence ensued over the men taking gold and Taino women.

On Colombus’s second voyage in November 1493, he started to capitalise on the Taino’s generosity, and this time demanded paid tribute from them. Those that weren’t able to pay were brutally killed. He set up his second settlement, La Isabela, in 1494, where relations between the natives and the settlers quickly deteriorated. At the time, the slave trade was rampant, so many of the Taino were sent to Spain to be sold. They were forced into extreme working conditions on plantations and subject to European diseases, like Smallpox, to which they had no immunity.

Colombus took the Taino’s land and gold and dissolved their society. They lost all self-governance and became pawns to European invaders bringing warfare to their once peaceful land. The Taino society quickly became a shadow of its former self as it was aggressively wiped out by European expansion into the New World.

Colombus’s complete demolition of the Taino people only scratches the surface of the genocidal atrocities of the Age of Exploration, with various similarly advanced, even greater civilisations of the Americas all brought to ruin by it. Commemorating Colombus as an explorer of the New World fails to acknowledge the barbarism of his actions. Whilst he was undoubtably a skilled naval navigator, he was unable to navigate the new social and cultural institutions he found. Ultimately, instead of exploring and embracing the Taino people and their culture, he exploited it.


On January 20th 1265 the first truly representative English Parliament met at Westminster Hall. This Parliament, led by the baron rebel, Simon de Montfort, was significant because it formed the basis of a more representative democracy; inspiring the House of Commons as we know it today.

Although England was officially under the rule of King Henry III in 1265, it was de Montfort who truly controlled England. After growing dissatisfaction with King Henry’s unwillingness to adhere to the terms of the Magna Carta, de Montfort and his baron supporters, at a parliament in Oxford in 1258, forced Henry to adhere to a radical programme of power-sharing between the nobles and the monarch. This system of reforms was known as the Provisions of Oxford and was the first time parliament became a set part of the country’s government. Unsurprisingly, King Henry III hated working under the constraints of the Provisions, and in 1261, after building support for his cause, he is quoted as saying, “I’d rather break clods behind the plough, than rule by the Provisions!”

The situation almost inevitably erupted into violence, in what became known as the Baron’s Rebellion. Frustrated by the king’s lack of compliance, in 1264, de Montfort captured both King Henry and his heir Prince Edward at the Battle of Lewes. Taking charge of England soon after his victory, on Thursday 14th December, de Montfort summoned a representative Parliament. This new look Parliament met at Westminster from January 20th until February 15th 1265, and ultimately contained 23 lay magnates, 120 bishops, two knights from each county and two citizens from each town, and four men from each of the Cinque Ports. In the first instance, this Parliament was summoned to discuss arrangements for Prince Edward’s release. Although there had been counsels and advisers supporting every monarch prior to 1265, this was the first time that a form of democratic representation was involved within the parliamentary process.

Speaking to the BBC about the 1265 Parliament, historian Professor David Carpenter explained, “The Great Charter (Magna Carta) laid down the first written constitution, but it was primarily a charter for the elite… It did not envisage anything resembling a House of Commons…. It is not until 1265 that the momentous step is taken to invite the commons to parliament.”
As with modern MP’s, those who attended the 1265 parliament even had their costs covered.

History often credits King Edward I with the formation of the modern parliamentary system. In 1295 his Model Parliament insisted on regular attendance by commoners during parliament. However, it was Simon de Montfort, during his brief period of power (which lasted only until he was killed during the second Baron’s Rebellion later in 1265), that innovated parliamentary representation. It was his rebellion that produced a landmark moment in England’s political evolution.

The original Space Race was a competition to be the first nation to reach and explore space, between the superpowers of the USA and USSR during the Cold War, during the 1950’s and 60’s.

In 1957, Russia sent Sputnik, the first artificial satellite, into space. America’s response was a promise to send a man to the moon. It was the then President Kennedy who made this risky claim, but it was met in 1969 when, on 20th July, Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin landed the Eagle lunar module on the Moon.

Eventually the Cold War ended, and the USA and USSR decided to work together. Since then, although space exploration has continued remotely, the race for physical discovery in Outer Space appears to have subsided. Or has it? In recent weeks, a film celebrating the life of Buzz Aldrin, First Man, hit the big screen. Its reflection on an original ‘Man on the Moon’ comes as a new space race is gathering pace. Rather than government bodies such as NASA running the race however, it is the billionaires of America who have their hands on the controls.

In January, the most powerful working rocket in the world, Falcon Heavy, took off from Cape Canaveral in Florida. Its mission is to put a sports car in orbit around the sun.

The Falcon Heavy car, made by one such billionaire Elon Musk’s (above, right) Tesla company, was produced so that he could start exploring the possibility of carrying tourists on “slingshot” trips around the moon. As The Economist reports, ‘Mr Musk’s ambition is to propel humanity beyond its home planet…. In the days of the space race between America and the Soviet Union, the heavens were a front in the cold war between two competing ideologies. Since then, power has not merely shifted between countries. It has also shifted between governments and individuals.’ For his part, when speaking to The Guardian, Musk underlined the assertion with enthusiasm: “We want a new space race,” he said, “Races are exciting.”

Musk is not the only one to have taken over from space agencies like NASA and their main contractors, Lockheed Martin and Boeing. Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos beat Musk to landing a reusable rocket through his own company, Blue Origin, and the UK billionaire Richard Branson and a slew of other entrepreneurs have followed with lighter-lift rockets.

Phil Larson, a senior science adviser in Barack Obama’s White House and a former SpaceX official, explains, “There are many new rockets being developed, some light, some super-heavy, some in between.” There are some inevitable concerns. NASA has strict safety requirements for human spaceflight, but there are fears the new breed of explorers won’t always adhere to them in their race to be the first to reach the next popular goal.

While a few billionaires build their own spacecraft, international competition for exploration into Space also continues.

NASA is preparing for a return of American astronauts to the moon, and last year China deemed an expanse of desert in the country’s north-west to be sufficiently Martian to be reserved as a training ground for Mars-bound “taikonauts”. China is not working alone in this, though. For the first time, Pakistan appears to be entering a space race, this time with rivals India. Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry has said that, “Pakistan will send a human to space for the first time in 2022, with China’s help.”

Meanwhile, India is promoting itself as a low-cost provider of rocket launch services for overseas satellite projects. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is no stranger to space exploration. The ISRO has already sent remote exploratory missions to Mars and intends to be the first to reach the Moon’s south pole in 2019. They also plan, in 2022, to send a crew of three astronauts on a seven-day orbit of Earth. As The Economist reports, “If the mission is successful, India will become only the fourth country in the world to independently develop a manned space flight, following in the footsteps of the former Soviet Union, US and China.”

While the race to reach the Moon has already been won, there is much still to learn. Mars features high on the wish list of the space explorers of the modern age. But who’ll win the next race? The established space agencies or a rich billionaire who has always dreamt of walking amongst the stars?

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