Friday, May 18, 2012

Possibility of Starship travel within 100 years?

So as I sit here reading the news on my night shift a story popped up that peaked my interest. But first a little back story. Growing up I was a huge Science Fiction fan and to this day I still am. Everything space related. I was never a big science whiz growing up but I loved the concept of traveling this vast unknown encountering new species, discovering foreign technologies and aiding the advancement of mankind. I think thats partly what peaked my interest in military service as it just seemed the closest equivalent as I figured there would never be a space based military or paramilitary styled civilian service.

Until now that is. We all heard about Newt Gingrich wanting to build a permanent establishment on the surface of the Moon and we all had a laugh at crazy newt and his moon base! Though now it seems the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has begun funding the "100 year starship" initiative headed up by the The Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence and partnered with Icarus Interstellar and The Foundation for Enterprise Development. The plan is being headed by Former NASA Astronaut Mae Jemison. The concept is intended to drive the interest of interstellar travel and see a functional starship capable of interstellar travel within the next 100 years.
Mae Jemison believes that if the drive was there we could do it right now. But she believes that since first going to the moon humanity stagnated.

"I think that people need an adrenalin rush. Folks need something aspirational, they need to do something that is hard. That’s what ignites the imagination.  I grew up during the Apollo-era, in the 1960s. When I was a little girl: I thought when I had an opportunity to go into space, I thought I would at a minimum be working on Mars, or another large planet because we were doing all of these incredible things. But we stagnated, because we didn’t continue that push. We started to get a little bit timid. Timidity does not inspire bold acts." - From an interview with BBC Future.

What does this mean for Humanity? Well its quite simple. It would allow Human travel beyond our solar system and into another star system. We may finally truly learn what else is out there. I am very excited to see what comes of this. Though I will no doubt die long before the first star ship takes flight The hope is out there.

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