Category Archives: Space Systems

Space Studies Institute (SSI) opens Exotic Propulsion Initiative

The Space Studies Institute, whose mission is “to complete the missing technological links to make possible the productive use of the abundant resources in space”. SSI just announced that it is starting a new project with Prof. Jim Woodward of California State University Fullerton: Exotic Propulsion Initiative – Space Studies Institute.

SSI has always prided itself on focusing our resources on projects that work to provide technologies that further the cause of space settlement and permanent life off Earth.  We’ve announced two efforts, the G-Lab and the E-Lab, to provide technologies required for understanding the amount of gravitational force and practical closed life-support systems required for long-term or permanent human habitation in space.

To these projects we have added the Exotic Propulsion Initiative, to explore exotic propulsion opportunities at the very borderlands of physics.

Much public and press excitement has been generated by the DARPA-funded “100 Year Starship” effort, and work on warp drive theory and concepts at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

An intriguing and thoughtful recent book by Professor Jim Woodward, Making Starships and Stargates: The Science of Interstellar Transport and Absurdly Benign Wormholes, has further heightened interest in “exotic” physics propulsion concepts.

While no one can predict if or when these technologies might become practical, we can say for certain that not funding basic research will consign any breakthroughs to the realm of science fiction forever.

Accordingly, SSI has established our Exotic Propulsion Initiative to take bold new risks that are unlikely to find conventional funding.  Donations to the project will be first used to extend and replicate Professor Woodward’s provocative research findings at his lab at CalState Fullerton, and as resources permit, to open new avenues of exploration into advanced propulsion with other scientists.

Professor Woodward has donated major royalties from his book to SSI in order to jump-start this project’s funding.  We are grateful for his donation and are very pleased to be able to offer an opportunity to all interested parties to extend and increase his gift.

Starship Century Symposium 2013 – May 21 – 22, UC San Diego

Here’s an announcement for the Starship Century Symposium 2013:

Starship Century

Is this the century we begin to build starships?

Why go to the Stars?

Can we?

Should We?

May 21 – 22, UC San Diego, Qualcomm Institute, Atkinson Hall Auditorium

Starship Century is a symposium coordinated by the new Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination in collaboration with Gregory and James Benford, presenting ideas from their anthology of science and science fiction.

  • Scientists address the challenges and opportunities for our long‐term future in space, with possibilities envisioned by: Freeman Dyson, Paul Davies, Peter Schwartz, John Cramer and Robert Zubrin.
  • Science fiction authors Neal Stephenson, Allen Steele, Joe Haldeman, Gregory Benford, Geoffrey Landis and David Brin discuss the implications that these trajectories of exploration might have upon our development as individuals and as a civilization.

Update April.28.13: The leader of a project at NASA Johnson Space Center who is investigating the possibility that warping space to achieve faster than light travel (see article Warp Factor – Popular Science) will present an update at this meeting: 2013 Starship Congress Speaker Announcement – Dr Harold “Sonny” White: “Warp Field Physics: An Update” –  Icarus Interstellar

The Great Moonbuggy Race attracts several hundred competitors

NASA Marshall Spaceflight Center this week will host the 20th Annual Great Moonbuggy Race ®, April 25 – 27, 2013: NASA’s Great Moonbuggy Race draws international field of 600 competitors to Huntsville –

Updates will be posted at NASA Marshall Center (MOONBUGGYRACE) on Twitter.

Here is a video from last year’s event: