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100 Year Starship Project May 14, 2012

Posted by Mark Flavin in Space Policy, Space Ventures.
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Image Credit: 100yss.org

Image Credit: 100yss.org

It is rare to find an organization dedicated to anything beyond the lifetime of the average person but the 100 Year Starship™ Initiative  (100YSS) is just such a group. Their purpose is simple; plan for a human crewed space ship capable of traveling through interstellar space to a destination outside our solar system. While their purpose can be simply stated there is nothing simple about the goal.

Traveling beyond our solar system is a daunting challenge considering the distances involved, and the technology currently available. It is interesting that their website points out that H.G. Wells book “First Men on the Moon” was published just sixty eight years before we set foot on our closest satellite; an unthinkable goal in 1901. The group is trying to galvanize industry, government and the rest of us to get on board & support the effort.

To continue their efforts 100YSS plans a series of symposiums to gather a group and discuss the issues involved in interstellar space. They plan to hold the next discussion in Houston Texas September 13-16. They achieved a milestone with a grant from DARPA of $500 million. In addition to this hey have recently recruited Mae Jemison, a former Space Shuttle astronaut to head the organization.

It is very impressive that such a bold initiative is gathering momentum in this current era of slash and burn budget cuts. They hope to lay the groundwork for the next human space adventure by establishing a firm footing inclusive the vast number of necessary disciplines to ultimately make the project happen. It is so refreshing to hear of a people who dare to dream way beyond putting around in low earth orbit. I appreciate their enthusiasm so let’s set coordinates to Alpha Centari and, what do what else; engage!