This section will keep you up with relevant novelties concerning space settlement and related subjects (well, the first ones won't be so new). 

   4.02.2013 - Competition is rising for asteroid mineral resources. Two private companies, "Planetary Resources" and "Deep Space Industries" lead the race towards exploiting these enormous resources.  Plans involve using robotic probes for prospection and mining. And where there's competition, there's progress, and costs drop. We are going to see global advancements in space travel, not to say that harnessing asteroids is a fine starting point for a space civilization. See more. A nice overview of DSI strategy here.

   23.01.2013 - Mars One - a Netherlands-based private venture - is planning to begin sending settlers to Mars, starting around 2013. Their final goal is a "self-sustained colony". Such colonies are a prerequisite (although robotic installations would be even better) for a Martian industry, i.e. installations required for producing greenhouse gas, drilling for thermal water and all the other stuff needed for terraforming the planet. See more.

   28.11.2012 - New advancements in nuclear space propulsion. Scientists at the Los Alamos Laboratory  designed and tested a new concept of nuclear rocket engine. It is more economical and easily manufacturable, and it could shorten the duration of a trip to, let's say Pluto, to two years (instead of minimum seven, with chemical rockets). Nuclear propulsion is, for now, the only truly feasible means of efficiently travel within the solar System. See more.

   28.09.2012 - Space mining is taken seriously into consideration, by both private enterprises, such as "Planetary Resources" and NASA officials. Also, several space agencies are interested in setting up mining facilities on the Moon. See more.

   17.09.2012 - NASA scientists are making progresses towards building an Alcubierre drive (basically, a warp drive, for Star Trek fans). Technically, Alcubierre's initial proposal required huge amounts of energy. Now, this team of researchers imagined a mechanism to do this with achievable energies. They are planning to begin small-scale tests to better understand the process. By now, these are the news of the year. Shortcutting through  space-time would mean FTL travel, allowing us to break out of our Solar System. See more.     

   12.03.2012 - The ambitious StarTram project proposes a using magnetically-levitated rails with MagLev trains to send materials and people into orbit. Such orbital trains would greatly lower the costs of placing stuff in orbit around Earth and would be able to transport millions of people in space every year (which is a prerequisite of space settlement). See more.  

   23.02.2012 - Tokyo-based Obayashi Corp., aims to build a functional space elevator, able to carry materials and people to 36,000 kilometers in space by the middle of the century. It would be another nice way of exiting our atmosphere in a less-costly way. There are, however, some obstacles in building such and engineering masterpiece. We cannot but wish them good luck! See more

   05.09.2011 - A team of Chinese researchers, led by Hexi Baoyin, suggests moving asteroids into Earth's orbit in order to mine them. The idea is not new to SciFi readers, but it's the first time it is taken into account seriously. Asteroid mining means huge mineral resources to our ecomony and potential launching bases towards the Solar System. See more.