100 Year Starship Launches…

Bussard Ramjet - One Option to the Stars, By Adrian Mann


The Official Announcement has arrived…

Mae Jemison and Team Establish 100 Year Starship With Goal to Make Interstellar Space Travel Reality by 2112

…also covered by Paul Gilster, at “Centauri Dreams”,…

100 Year Starship Organization Launches

…while Sharon Weinberger writes it up for the BBC’s International front page news…

100-Year Starship: Mae Jemison reaches for the stars

…the common thread is that this Organization is about finding a Way for humanity, as a whole, to turn their eyes to the stars. Reaching for the stars will enrich all our lives here on Earth, and 100 Year Starship will be looking for the best ideas to do that. Travelling to the stars requires creating a sustainable way of living for the years, probably decades, it will take to reach other star-systems. By learning to do that we’ll develop the technologies that will enable people to live well here on Earth.

Here’s one possible route – just one idea based on a talk by Mark Edwards at the September 2011 Symposium. He’s been advocating the use of algae as a means of creating food, pharmaceuticals and materials for years. The systems he has developed, using a bunch of algal species, can produce a broad variety of products – many of which we already consume without knowing it. His vision was food/drug/fabric/cosmetic “independence” for the average person – in a real way an automated Cornucopia, able to feed, treat, decorate and even clothe us, all through sunlight, carbon dioxide in the air, and some nutrients. Can you imagine doing away with the hit-and-miss of dirt-farming? And all perfectly suited for living in space for decades at a time.

That’s just one (very good) idea amongst probably thousands (millions) more. In time, as creativity is channelled into such concepts, I’m hopeful of a near total transformation of how we feed, clothe, decorate, house and power our selves and lives. Even with Crazy-Times ahead, thanks to the GFC 2.0 looming in Europe and beyond, I believe we can solve our problems and transform our lives. Our hope and self-belief need a common focus, and I think the 100 Year Starship is just the vehicle for that. What will make our lives better here, will enable us to take them There, to the Stars.

So join us in this journey, in whatever way you can.

2 thoughts on “100 Year Starship Launches…

  1. Adam, the thing that perturbs me about this project is that it is tending to be portrayed as a mission, space-agency style, launched from Earth. That just won’t happen. (Unless somebody’s got some magical technology up their sleeve.) If our descendants travel to the stars, they won’t be living in space “for years, probably decades”. They will be living in space permanently. They’ll live in space like you live in Oz or I live in Britain, never giving a thought to the fact that our ancestors actually lived in Africa. In my view the 100yss needs to think of itself as a vehicle to lift space colonisation (in our own and other solar systems), not an Apollo-style one-off mission between Earth and some exo-Earth (which does not exist within range). The lifestyle of the first interstellar travellers must be essentially identical to that enjoyed by the vast majority of our descendants in the solar system. The technologies and lifestyles of the starship must be envisaged as identical to those enjoyed by most of our descendants, not intended for a tiny elite, with the rest of us getting occasional spinoff items. Anyway, that’s how it strikes me.

    Stephen

  2. Hi Stephen
    If that’s how it read, that’s not the intent. I personally think star-voyaging will only be possible by those who live in space and have gotten used to the idea. It won’t be conducted by people expecting to return to the Green Hills of Earth, unless there’s some dramatic developments in propulsion. Even if we can push to high gamma-factors for our stellar excursions, subjective trip times of several years will still be involved, and a starship would be more a home than some planetary habitat. Or so I suspect. But people have adapted to stranger things than waiting decades to see their home-shores, so who knows?

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