100 Year Starship

The 100 Year Starship (100YSS) is a joint U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) grant project to a private entity. The goal of the study is to create a business plan that can foster the research and technology needed for interstellar travel within 100 years.[1][2][3]


The 100 Year Starship effort was announced by NASA Ames Research Center director Pete Worden in a talk at San Francisco's Long Conversation conference in October 2010.[4] In a DARPA press release officially announcing the effort,[5] program manager Paul Eremenko, who served as the study coordinator, explained that the endeavor was meant to excite several generations to commit to the research and development of breakthrough technologies to advance the eventual goal of interstellar space travel.[6]


The 100 Year Starship study was the name of a one-year project to assess the attributes of and lay the groundwork for an organization that can carry forward the 100 Year Starship vision.[7][8]

The winning bid to spearhead the 100 Year Starship effort was the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence, partnering with Icarus Interstellar and the Foundation for Enterprise Development, led by the American physician and former NASA astronaut Mae Jemison.[9][10][11] In 2013, the consortium was awarded a $500,000 grant for further work. The new organization maintains the organizational name 100 Year Starship.[12]

100 Year Starship Symposia

Before the solicitation for the foundation, the 100 Year Starship project was preceded by a conference held in Orlando, Florida, from September 30 to October 2, 2011, co-sponsored by DARPA and NASA, organized by DARPA's Tactical Technology Office director, David Neyland.[2][3] The conference included presentations on the technology, biology, physics, philosophy, sociology, and economics of interstellar flight.[7] Selected papers from the conference were published in the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society.

After the Jemison Foundation was named as winner of the grant, a second symposium was held in 2012 in Houston. Papers on a number of subjects related to interstellar flight and organization of the foundation were presented.[7] 2013 and 2014 Symposia were held in Houston,[13] and a fifth on September 2015.

Canopus Awards

In 2015, the 100 Year Starship project hosted its first annual Canopus Awards for excellence in interstellar writing.[14] The winners were announced October 30, 2015 at the symposium:[15]

  • Previously Published Long-Form Fiction (40,000 words or more): InterstellarNet: Enigma by Edward M. Lerner (FoxAcre). ISBN 978-1936771646
  • Previously Published Short-Form Fiction (between 1,000 and 40,000 words): “The Waves” by Ken Liu (Asimov's 12/12)
  • Original Fiction (1,000-5,000 words): “Everett's Awakening” by Yelcho
  • Original Non-Fiction (1,000-5,000 words): “Finding Earth 2.0 from the Focus of the Solar Gravitational Lens” by Louis Friedman & Slava Turyshev


The 100 Year Starship was named in 2012 by U.S. Senator Tom Coburn as one of the 100 most wasteful government spending projects. Coburn specifically cited a 100 Year Starship workshop that included one session, entitled “Did Jesus die for Klingons too?” that debated the implications for Christian philosophy should life be found on other planets.[16][17]

See also


  1. ^ Overbye, Dennis (August 18, 2011). "Offering Funds, U.S. Agency Dreams of Sending Humans to Stars". The New York Times.
  2. ^ a b Chang, Kenneth (October 17, 2011). "Not Such a Stretch to Reach for the Stars". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  3. ^ a b Belfiore, Michael (September 30, 2011). "To Infinity and Beyond at DARPA's 100-Year Starship Symposium". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  4. ^ Brandon, John (October 29, 2010). "Is NASA Covering Up the 100-Year Starship?". FoxNews.com. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  5. ^ "DARPA/NASA Seek to Inspire Multigenerational Research and Development". Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  6. ^ Page, Lewis (November 3, 2010). "DARPA, NASA team on '100-Year Starship' project: plan to invent Heinlein style miracle nonprofit first". The Register. Retrieved 18 June 2014. The 100-Year Starship study will examine the business model needed to develop and mature a technology portfolio enabling long-distance manned space flight a century from now.
  7. ^ a b c "100 Year Starship Study™ 2012 Public Symposium" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on February 27, 2012.
  8. ^ "The 100-Year Starship Study" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on December 3, 2011.
  9. ^ Mark Prigg (6 September 2012). "The 100-year Starship project that plans to transport humans beyond the solar system". Daily Mail. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  10. ^ Weinberger, Sharon (5 January 2012). "Former astronaut to lead starship effort". BBC News. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  11. ^ Gilster, Paul (6 January 2012). "100 Year Starship Winner Announced". Centauri Dreams. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  12. ^ Andersen, Ross (February 2012). "Project Icarus: Laying the Plans for Interstellar Travel". The Atlantic. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  13. ^ "100 Year Simposium 2014". 2013. Archived from the original on 2014-05-26. Retrieved 2014-05-25.
  14. ^ "100 Year Starship Celebrates Halloween Eve Awarding First Interstellar Writing Prize During Science Fiction Stories Night". 100yss.org. 20 October 2015. Archived from the original on 2016-08-13. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  15. ^ "Locus Online News » Canopus Award Winners". www.locusmag.com. Retrieved 2015-11-02.
  16. ^ http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2012/nov/15/pentagon-wants-know-did-jesus-die-klingons-too/
  17. ^ https://www.cnbc.com/id/49844670

External links

Bella Gaia

Bella Gaia is a live music art and show produced by Kenji Williams and other New York artists.

Breakthrough Initiatives

Breakthrough Initiatives is a science-based program founded in 2015 and funded by Julia and Yuri Milner, also of Breakthrough Prize, to search for extraterrestrial intelligence over a span of at least 10 years. The program is divided into multiple projects. Breakthrough Listen will comprise an effort to search over 1,000,000 stars for artificial radio or laser signals. A parallel project called Breakthrough Message is an effort to create a message "representative of humanity and planet Earth". The project Breakthrough Starshot aims to send a swarm of probes to the nearest star at about 20% the speed of light. The project Breakthrough Watch aims to identify and characterize Earth-sized, rocky planets around Alpha Centauri and other stars within 20 light years of Earth. Breakthrough plans to send a mission to Saturn's moon Enceladus, in search for life in its warm ocean, and in 2018 signed a partnership agreement with NASA for the project.

Breakthrough Starshot

Breakthrough Starshot is a research and engineering project by the Breakthrough Initiatives to develop a proof-of-concept fleet of light sail spacecraft named StarChip, to be capable of making the journey to the Alpha Centauri star system 4.37 light-years away.

A flyby mission has been proposed to Proxima Centauri b, an Earth-sized exoplanet in the habitable zone of its host star, Proxima Centauri, in the Alpha Centauri system. At a speed between 15% and 20% of the speed of light, it would take between twenty and thirty years to complete the journey, and approximately four years for a return message from the starship to Earth.

The conceptual principles to enable this interstellar travel project were described in "A Roadmap to Interstellar Flight", by Philip Lubin of UC Santa Barbara. Sending the lightweight spacecraft involves a multi-kilometer phased array of beam-steerable lasers with a combined coherent power output of up to 100 GW.

Charles Lindsay (artist)

Charles Lindsay (born San Francisco, California, 1961) is an American multi-disciplinary artist whose work focuses on technology, biomimicry, semiotics, and the possibility of new ontologies. He creates immersive environments, sound installations, and sculptures built from salvaged aerospace and bio-tech equipment, photographs, and videos.

Charles Lindsay is the current director of the SETI Institute's artist in residence program, a Guggenheim Fellow, recipient of the Robert Rauschenberg Residency, and a Fellow at the Nevada Museum of Art’s Center for Art and Environment. Lindsay balances his time in the studio with extended periods exploring remote natural environments. His career has ranged from exploration geology in the arctic to photojournalism in the jungles of southeast Asia - where he lived for years with a stone age tribe. He is director of OSA EARS - a project designed to stream real-time sound from one of the world’s most bio-diverse ecosystems, the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica.

Lindsay invented a carbon-based imaging process for which he received a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship. "CARBON" has since morphed into a series of immersive installations. Lindsay's photographs have appeared in numerous international publications including Wired, The New York Times Magazine, Motherboard, Blind Spot, Aperture, Natural History, Gastronomica, Audubon, Parabola, Orion, Big Sky Journal, Men's Journal, Golf, Sports Illustrated, and GEO. He has been profiled on National Public Radio, CNN International and NHK Japan in a one-hour television documentary.

Lindsay has presented and performed at Ear to the Earth, the Zero1 Biennial in San Francisco, the LED Lab, the Bolinas Museum, and at ISEA in New Mexico. He has lectured at Moogfest 2014, the California Academy of Sciences, Stanford’s Department of Art and Art History, 100 Year Starship Symposium (DARPA), USC’s “Visions + Voices” performance series, SwissNex, the American Museum of Natural History, Mountain Film in Telluride, The School of Visual Arts, Pratt School of Art and Design, the Open Center in New York, IDEA CITY in Toronto and at The Hat Creek Observatory for SETI.

He is a member of the Electronic Music Foundation, increasingly using audio recordings he gathers in the wild in order to create sounds for his installations, videos and live audio visual performances.


The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is an agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the development of emerging technologies for use by the military.

Originally known as the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), the agency was created in February 1958 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in response to the Soviet launching of Sputnik 1 in 1957. By collaborating with academic, industry, and government partners, DARPA formulates and executes research and development projects to expand the frontiers of technology and science, often beyond immediate U.S. military requirements.DARPA-funded projects have provided significant technologies that influenced many non-military fields, such as computer networking and the basis for the modern Internet, and graphical user interfaces in information technology.

DARPA is independent of other military research and development and reports directly to senior Department of Defense management. DARPA has about 220 employees, of whom approximately 100 are in management.The name of the organization first changed from its founding name ARPA to DARPA in March 1972, briefly changing back to ARPA in February 1993, only to revert to DARPA in March 1996.

Deep space exploration

Deep space exploration (or deep-space exploration) is the branch of astronomy, astronautics and space technology that is involved with exploring the distant regions of outer space. Physical exploration of space is conducted both by human spaceflights (deep-space astronautics) and by robotic spacecraft.

At present the furthest space probe mankind has constructed and launched from Earth is Voyager 1, which was announced on December 5, 2011, to have reached the outer edge of the Solar system, and entered interstellar space on August 25, 2012. Deep space exploration further than this vessel's capacity is not yet possible due to limitations in the space-engine technology currently available.

Some of the best candidates for future deep space engine technologies include anti-matter, nuclear power and beamed propulsion. The latter, beamed propulsion, appears to be the best candidate for deep space exploration presently available, since it uses known physics and known technology that is being developed for other purposes.

Hakeem M. Oluseyi

Hakeem Muata Oluseyi (born James Edward Plummer, Jr.) is an American astrophysicist, cosmologist, inventor, educator, science communicator, author, actor, and humanitarian.

Harold G. White

Harold G. "Sonny" White is a mechanical engineer, aerospace engineer and applied physicist who is the Advanced Propulsion Team Lead for the NASA Engineering Directorate and is known for proposing new Alcubierre drive concepts and promoting advanced propulsion projects, under development at the NASA Johnson Space Center, including the first practical experiment to test the existence of Alcubierre drive effects.

Harry Kloor

Harry 'Doc' Kloor is an American scientist, film producer, director, writer, and entrepreneur. Kloor was first to be awarded two PhDs simultaneously in two distinct academic disciplines (i.e. Physics and Chemistry) both earned at Purdue University. In recognition of this achievement he was named ABC person on the week in August 1994.

IXS Enterprise

IXS Enterprise is a conceptual interstellar superluminal spacecraft designed by NASA scientist Dr. Harold G. White, revealed at SpaceVision 2008, designed for the goal of achieving warp travel. The conceptual spacecraft would make use of a modified version of the Alcubierre drive. Dr. White is currently running the White–Juday warp-field interferometer experiment in order to develop a proof of concept for Alcubierre-style warp travel, if possible. The Alcubierre drive uses exotic matter (not to be confused with antimatter) to travel faster than light.

While the concept had been out since 2008 the design of IXS Enterprise was popularized in June 2015 after a series of media outlets reported on the conceptual artwork done by Dutch artist Mark Rademaker in collaboration with NASA. According to Mark Rademaker, over 1,600 hours have been spent on the conceptual artwork that he created.The energy required to power the warp drive, according to White, is approximately the negative (negative energy is required for the Alcubierre drive concept to function) mass–energy equivalence of Voyager 1, which has a mass of approximately 700 kilograms. Using E=mc2, −700 kilograms of mass is equivalent to ~−63 exajoules of energy (this number is not definitive and can be further reduced). The ship has two thick outer rings (to reduce required energy) that generate the warp field—a contraction of space ahead, and expansion of space behind it. The space inside the rings is optimized to fit more space for cargo, crew and equipment.

Initiative for Interstellar Studies

The Initiative for Interstellar Studies (i4is) is a UK not-for profit company, whose objectives are education and research into the challenges of Interstellar Travel. Several of its principals were involved in the 100 Year Starship winning team originated by NASA and DARPA.

Interstellar ark

An interstellar ark or generation ship is a conceptual space vehicle designed for interstellar travel. Interstellar arks may be the most economically feasible method of traveling such distances. The ark has also been proposed as a potential habitat to preserve civilization and knowledge in the event of a global catastrophe.

Such a ship would have to be large, requiring a large power plant. The Project Orion concept of propulsion by nuclear pulses has been proposed. The largest spacecraft design analyzed in Project Orion had a 400 m diameter and weighed approximately 8 million tons. It could be large enough to host a city of 100,000 or more people.

Interstellar travel

Interstellar travel is the term used for crewed or uncrewed travel between stars or planetary systems. Interstellar travel will be much more difficult than interplanetary spaceflight; the distances between the planets in the Solar System are less than 30 astronomical units (AU)—whereas the distances between stars are typically hundreds of thousands of AU, and usually expressed in light-years. Because of the vastness of those distances, interstellar travel would require a high percentage of the speed of light; huge travel time, lasting from decades to millennia or longer; or a combination of both.

The speeds required for interstellar travel in a human lifetime far exceed what current methods of spacecraft propulsion can provide. Even with a hypothetically perfectly efficient propulsion system, the kinetic energy corresponding to those speeds is enormous by today's standards of energy development. Moreover, collisions by the spacecraft with cosmic dust and gas can produce very dangerous effects both to passengers and the spacecraft itself.

A number of strategies have been proposed to deal with these problems, ranging from giant arks that would carry entire societies and ecosystems, to microscopic space probes. Many different spacecraft propulsion systems have been proposed to give spacecraft the required speeds, including nuclear propulsion, beam-powered propulsion, and methods based on speculative physics.For both crewed and uncrewed interstellar travel, considerable technological and economic challenges need to be met. Even the most optimistic views about interstellar travel see it as only being feasible decades from now. However, in spite of the challenges, if or when interstellar travel is realised, a wide range of scientific benefits is expected.Most interstellar travel concepts require a developed space logistics system capable of moving millions of tons to a construction / operating location, and most would require gigawatt-scale power for construction or power (such as Star Wisp or Light Sail type concepts). Such a system could grow organically if space-based solar power became a significant component of Earth's energy mix. Consumer demand for a multi-terawatt system would automatically create the necessary multi-million ton/year logistical system.

Jack Sarfatti

Jack Sarfatti (born September 14, 1939) is an American theoretical physicist. Working largely outside academia, most of Sarfatti's publications revolve around quantum physics and consciousness.

Sarfatti was a leading member of the Fundamental Fysiks Group, an informal group of physicists in California in the 1970s who, according to historian of science David Kaiser, aimed to inspire some of the investigations into quantum physics that underlie parts of quantum information science. Sarfatti co-wrote Space-Time and Beyond (1975; credited to Bob Toben and Fred Alan Wolf) and has self-published several books.

Mae Jemison

Mae Carol Jemison (born October 17, 1956) is an American engineer, physician and NASA astronaut. She became the first black woman to travel in space when she served as an astronaut aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour. After graduating medical school and a brief general practice, Jemison served in the Peace Corps from 1985 until 1987. In 1987 her application to become an astronaut was accepted by NASA and on September 12, 1992 she was a mission specialist aboard STS-47. In 1993 she resigned from NASA and founded a company researching the application of technology to daily life. She has appeared on television several times, including as an actress in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. She is a dancer and holds nine honorary doctorates in science, engineering, letters, and the humanities. She is the current principal of the 100 Year Starship organization.

Paul Eremenko

Paul Eremenko (Ukrainian: Єременко Павло Олександрович; 1979 in Lviv, Soviet Union) is a Ukrainian American Innovator and Technology executive. He is currently the Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President of United Technologies Corporation. Earlier, he served as the CTO of Airbus, and former CEO of Airbus Silicon Valley innovation center. He is a former Google executive and head of Google's Project Ara, an effort to create an open, modular smartphone platform. Eremenko was named one of the Top-10 Tech Leaders of 2015 in FORTUNE Magazine. Eremenko has also come out as a strong proponent of artificial intelligence and autonomy research, brushing away the growing chorus of concerns by many prominent technology and business leaders. Eremenko has cited his desire to build a starship as the motivation underpinning his career.

Ronke Olabisi

Ronke Mojoyinola Olabisi (born 26 June 1976) is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Rutgers University where she works on bone and human tissue. She is working with Mae Jemison on 100 Year Starship, an interdisciplinary initiative that is exploring the possibility of human interstellar travel.


A starship, starcraft or interstellar spacecraft is a theoretical spacecraft designed for traveling between planetary systems, as opposed to an aerospace-vehicle designed for orbital spaceflight or interplanetary travel.

The term is mostly found in science fiction, because such craft is not known to have ever been constructed. Reference to a "star-ship" appears as early as 1882 in Oahspe: A New Bible (1882).Whilst the Voyager and Pioneer probes have travelled into local interstellar space, the purpose of these uncrewed craft was specifically interplanetary and they are not predicted to reach another star system (although Voyager 1 will travel to within 1.7 light years of Gliese 445 in approximately 40,000 years.) Several preliminary designs for starships have been undertaken through exploratory engineering, using feasibility studies with modern technology or technology thought likely to be available in the near future.

In April 2016, scientists announced Breakthrough Starshot, a Breakthrough Initiatives program, to develop a proof-of-concept fleet of small centimeter-sized light sail spacecraft, named StarChip, capable of making the journey to Alpha Centauri, the nearest extrasolar star system, at speeds of 20% and 15% of the speed of light, taking between 20 and 30 years to reach the star system, respectively, and about 4 years to notify Earth of a successful arrival.

On November 8, 2018, Elon Musk announced that SpaceX was renaming the Big Falcon Rocket, a fully reusable launch vehicle and spacecraft system, to Starship. Though the spacecraft will not possess any reasonable interstellar capability, Musk defended the name by claiming that "later versions will."

White–Juday warp-field interferometer

The White–Juday warp-field interferometer is an experiment designed to detect a microscopic instance of a warping of spacetime. If such a warp is detected, it is hoped that more research into creating an Alcubierre warp bubble will be inspired. A research team led by Harold "Sonny" White in collaboration with Dr. Richard Juday at the NASA Johnson Space Center and Dakota State University are conducting experiments, but results so far have been inconclusive.

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