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24 Space Writing Prompts and Story Ideas

Space Writing Prompts

Space is such a fascinating and mysterious place, right?

It’s the perfect setting for all sorts of adventures – exploring new planets, encountering strange stuff, and just wondering about the big questions out there in the universe.

If you’re a writer (or someone who just wants to try writing something fun) here are some awesome story ideas to get those creative juices flowing.

Let’s go!

24 Space Writing Prompts and Story Ideas

  1. Terraforming the Red Planet: A team of scientists and engineers have been working on an ambitious project of terraforming Mars. The team is preparing for the first launch, which involves a highly complex and volatile process to create a breathable atmosphere. Write a story that encapsulates the trepidation, excitement, and hard work that goes into making this unprecedented feat a reality, including the challenges and ethical considerations. Emphasize the dramatic transformation of Mars and how it affects the team and the whole of humanity.

  2. The Arrival of an Interstellar Object: Astronomers have detected an unusual object approaching our solar system, something they’ve never seen before. It isn’t a comet, nor an asteroid, but an intelligently designed alien artifact. The world’s governments and scientific communities are on high alert as the object gets closer to Earth. Explore the unfolding story as humanity grapples with the first real evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence.

  3. Living in an O’Neill Cylinder: Imagine living in a massive space habitat, an O’Neill Cylinder, where you could look up and see your neighborhood curving overhead. Write about the day-to-day life of a character living in such a world, dealing with the social, cultural, and technological aspects of such a life. Focus on the unique aspects and challenges of living in an artificial, yet self-sustaining environment.

  4. Interstellar Travel Gone Wrong: A group of astronauts is on a mission to the nearest star system, Proxima Centauri, using a new form of propulsion technology. However, due to a malfunction, they are thrown off course into the uncharted depths of space. Write a survival story, detailing the crew’s efforts to survive, repair their ship, and attempt to return home.

  5. Revolution on a Space Colony: In a distant human space colony, a revolutionary group rises against an oppressive Earth-controlled government. The revolution, however, is more complex than the typical good vs. evil narrative, with every participant having deeply personal reasons to fight. Explore the intricate politics, ethical dilemmas, and personal stories in this revolution set in the vastness of space.

  6. The Last Astronaut: The world has moved to unmanned space explorations, making human astronauts a thing of the past. Our protagonist, the last human astronaut, is on his final mission before retirement. Write a poignant narrative, highlighting his reflections on his career, the evolution of space exploration, and his personal feelings about the end of an era.

  7. Living on a Spaceship Generation: In a desperate attempt to ensure the survival of humanity, a massive spaceship was sent out with thousands of people towards a potentially habitable exoplanet. But the journey is so long that it spans several generations. Follow the lives, societies, and cultures that develop on the ship, as well as the challenges and triumphs they experience in this closed system.

  8. The Search for Alien Life in the Outer Solar System: A team of astrobiologists embarks on a mission to Europa, Jupiter’s ice-covered moon, in the hopes of finding extraterrestrial life beneath its icy surface. The mission becomes a race against time when their limited resources begin to dwindle. Narrate the mission’s trials and tribulations and the thrilling possibility of discovering alien life.

  9. Cosmic Archaeology: In the near future, humanity has spread throughout the solar system. As we continue to explore, we start discovering remnants of extinct alien civilizations on distant moons and planets. Write about the archaeologists who study these ancient ruins, uncovering the mysteries and histories of these long-gone civilizations.

  10. First Contact Protocol: Earth has received its first message from an intelligent alien species. The message is indecipherable at first, and the entire planet anxiously awaits while linguists, scientists, and governments scramble to interpret it. Narrate the intricate process of deciphering this first contact, the conflicts that arise, and the impact of its eventual revelation.

  11. Dark Side of the Moon Base: On Earth’s moon, a secluded lunar base has been operational for years, conducting classified research. Suddenly, all communication with the base is lost, and a rescue team is dispatched to investigate. Write a suspense-filled story unveiling the chilling secrets hidden in the silent, dark side of the moon.

  12. The Singularity in Space: The singularity has occurred, and AI surpasses human intelligence. To ensure the survival of humanity in case the AI turns against them, a group of humans embarks on a mission to establish a colony in a distant star system. Write about their journey and struggles, contrasting the organic life in the spaceship with the AI-dominated life on Earth.

  13. Astronauts and the Psychological Impact of Space: The psychological impacts of space travel are as challenging as the physical ones. A team of astronauts on a long-duration mission to Mars start experiencing psychological strains that test their mission and personal relationships. Write a deep character-driven story exploring the mental toll of long-term space travel.

  14. Exoplanet Gold Rush: In the wake of faster-than-light travel technology, a newly discovered exoplanet rich in a rare, valuable element triggers a modern-day gold rush. Companies, governments, and individuals all vie to stake their claim on the planet. Write about the high-stakes competition, alliances, betrayals, and the unanticipated effects of this extraterrestrial gold rush.

  15. Interstellar Diplomacy: Humans have made first contact with several alien civilizations, leading to the formation of an interstellar alliance. But the alliance is fragile, with varying interests and cultures often clashing. Write about the diplomats navigating this complex web of interstellar diplomacy, striving to maintain peace and cooperation.

  16. Spaceship as a Living Organism: A breakthrough in biotechnology leads to spaceships being ‘grown’ rather than built, where the ship is essentially a living, self-sustaining organism. Explore the relationship between the crew and their living vessel, including the challenges and benefits of working with a ship that’s alive.

  17. The Solar System’s Sistine Chapel: A famous artist is commissioned to create the most significant art piece in human history – a massive mural on the outer surface of a space station, visible from Earth. Write about the artist’s journey to conceptualize and execute this monumental artwork while battling the physical and emotional challenges of space.

  18. A Spaceborne Disease: A previously unknown disease begins to spread among the inhabitants of a large, self-sustaining colony ship traveling towards a distant star. There are no doctors onboard capable of diagnosing or treating the disease. Narrate the desperate struggle for survival and the attempts to understand and combat the mysterious ailment.

  19. The Dark Matter Detective: Dark matter, an elusive substance that makes up a large portion of the universe, has finally been detected directly by a space station in the outer solar system. Soon after, strange anomalies begin to occur on the station. Write a detective story set in space where the detective has to solve the mystery related to these dark matter anomalies.

  20. The Quantum Astrophysicist: A quantum physicist is working on a controversial theory that could redefine our understanding of the universe. She believes that she can harness quantum entanglement for instantaneous interstellar communication, but faces opposition from the scientific community. Write about her struggle to prove her groundbreaking theory and its implications for space exploration.

  21. Survival on Titan: A team of explorers lands on Saturn’s moon Titan, only to have their spaceship irreparably damaged. Stranded in an alien world with a hostile environment, they must use their ingenuity to survive until help arrives. Write a gripping survival story highlighting the harsh realities and surprising beauty of life on Titan.

  22. The Neutrino Network: In a future where the solar system is colonized, communication is established via a complex network of neutrino transmitters, capable of transmitting data near-instantaneously across vast distances. Write a story focusing on the network’s operators, their struggles with maintaining the fragile system, and the implications of a system failure.

  23. The Cosmic Refugee Crisis: After a catastrophic event on Earth, humanity is forced to evacuate en masse to space habitats and off-world colonies. However, the crisis management is plagued with inequality, corruption, and desperation. Narrate the harrowing story of the displaced people, the politics of survival, and the fight for justice and equality in this time of crisis.

  24. The Space Time Capsule: As a last-ditch effort to preserve human culture before a predicted apocalypse, a spacecraft is sent towards the stars carrying a time capsule of human civilization. Write about the process of deciding what to include in the capsule, the launching of the mission, and its implications for humanity’s self-understanding and legacy.