The third meeting of the Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop (TVIW) was held in Oak Ridge last November. The TVIW was founded by Les Johnson, a Senior Technical Assistant for the Advanced Concepts Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Johnson was recently interviewed on The Space Show about the workshop and the prospects for interstellar flight: Les Johnson, Sunday, 2-15-15 – Thespaceshow’s Blog.

There are a lot interesting videos of presentations at the November event:

Here is a sampling:

* Dr. Brent Ziarnick, MAJ USAF – Starfleet Deferred: Project Orion in USAF Space Plan 1962 – An interesting account of the support given by the upper echelon of the USAF to the Orion nuclear pulse spaceship project:

Michael MinovitchGround-To-Orbit Fusion Propulsion System for Achieving Commercial Interplanetary Space Travel – Minovitch as a UCLA student in 1961 discovered the gravitational slingshot technique that allows a spacecraft to gain speed with the assist of a planet’s gravity. (The Voyagers, for example, used the technique to visit multiple planets and escape the solar system to  reach interstellar space.) Minovitch gave a talk about a fusion powered engine concept that he has invented that could take a winged vehicle from the surface of the earth to the Moon or a planet and back:

* Gordon Woodcock – A Construction Scenario for O’Neill Cylinder Space Settlement Habitats – 

* Robert Freeland – Firefly: An Unmanned Interstellar Probe Using Z-Pinch Propulsion – 

* A “Public Outreach STEM Event” that included a panel of science fiction authors and publishers:  Sarah and Dan Hoyt, Tony Daniel, Toni Weisskopf (Baen Books), Les Johnson, and Paul Gilster