2011–2111: 100 Year Starship Symposium

30 September – 2 October 2011100 Year Starship logo

Orlando, Florida, USA

On 28 October 2010 the US based organization, The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) and its executing agent NASA Ames Research Center, announced the creation of the 100 Year Starship Project or 100 YSS. The aim of the project is to develop a viable and sustainable model for persistent, long-term, private-sector investment into the disciplines necessary to make interstellar travel practicable and feasible.  The project does not aim to design or build a Starship but merely to excite several generations to commit to the research and development of breakthrough technologies across a range of disciplines. There is also another aim behind the study, which is the anticipation of technological advancements that will have relevance to the US Department of Defense, from propulsion to energy storage or computing, for example. But ultimately the hope is to reinvigorate private entrepreneurs, as well as the science and engineering communities, towards the long-term vision.

DARPA and NASA Ames are jointly planning a 100 Year Starship Study Symposium. The goal of the symposium is to promote discussions that will bring us closer to setting up an organization that can facilitate efforts to help achieve interstellar flight in the next century. The symposium is expected to attract around 2,000 people from international countries.

Topics covered will include:

  • Time-Distance Solutions: Propulsion, time/space manipulation and/or dilation, near speed of light navigation, faster than light navigation, observations and sensing at near speed of light or faster than light.
  • Education, Social, Economic and Legal Considerations: Education as a mission, who goes, who stays, to profit or not, economies in space, communications back to earth, political ramifications, round-trip legacy investments and assets left behind.
  • Philosophical, and Religious Considerations: Why go to the stars, moral and ethical issues, implications of finding habitable worlds, implications of finding life elsewhere, implications of being left behind
  • Biology and Space Medicine: Physiology in space, psychology in space, human life suspension (e.g., cryogenic), medical facilities and capabilities in space, on-scene (end of journey) spawning from genetic material
  • Habitats and Environmental Science: To have gravity or not, space and radiation effects, environmental toxins, energy collection and use, agriculture, self-supporting environments, optimal habitat sizing
  • Destinations: Criteria for destination selection, what do you take, how many destinations and missions, probes versus journeys of faith
  • Communication of the Vision: Storytelling as a means of inspiration, linkage between incentives, payback and investment, use of movies, television and books to popularize long term research and long term journeys

The 100 Year Starship Study aims to culminate in the creation of a self-sustaining organization that will tackle all the issues and challenges inherent in long duration interstellar space flight.

Additional information about the 100 Year Starship Study can be found at

www.100yss.org

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