2013 Starship Congress Speaker Announcement – Andreas Hein: “Project Hyperion: Enabling and Disruptive Technologies for Manned Interstellar Travel”

Aerospace Engineer and Icarus Interstellar project leader Andreas Hein has been announced as a speaker for Icarus Interstellar’s 2013 Starship Congress, with the following talk:  Project Hyperion: Enabling and Disruptive Technologies for Manned Interstellar Travel.

Andreas Hein is the founder and project leader of Project Hyperion and a core designer of Project Icarus. Furthermore, he is Director of Technical Programs of the Institute of Interstellar Studies (I4IS). Andreas received his Master’s degree in aerospace engineering at the Technische Universität München. He is working towards a PhD at the same university in the area of space systems engineering, focusing on the use of “heritage” technologies in space systems. He conducted part of his research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Previously, he worked at the European Space Agency Strategy and Architecture Office on stakeholder analysis for future manned space exploration and spent a semester abroad at the Institut Supérieur de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace (ISAE) in Toulouse, working on the numerical simulation of hypervelocity impact of interplanetary dust on spacecraft antennas. At his university, Andreas is active in the Scientific Workgroup for Rocketry and Astronautics (WARR) where he founded and lead the space elevator and interstellar flight group. He is a member of the International Honor Society for Systems Engineering – Omega Alpha Association, a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society, a member of INCOSE, and a certified TRIZ user.

Andreas’ talk will address the following three questions:

·         Which technologies are required to enable manned interstellar travel?

·         Which technologies have the potential to disrupt specific system architectures?

·         What approach is suitable to assess the feasibility of these technologies and architectures?

Project Hyperion assesses the feasibility of manned interstellar flight. The team is currently working on a feasibility study of a so-called “world ship”, a spacecraft with a large, self-contained habitat, housing thousands of people. Although the resources needed for a spacecraft of such enormous size is considerable, it represents the lower limit of technological sophistication needed for a manned interstellar mission. Most technologies for this type of craft are probably available in the near future. However, potentially “disruptive” technologies might get feasible until mankind is capable of realizing a world ship. They are “disruptive” in the sense that they might render previous efforts in developing a specific type of manned interstellar craft obsolescent. One potential disruptive technology is brain emulation. Although seemingly far away from realization, leading researchers estimate that this technology could be ready within the 21st century. This talk will demonstrate how brain emulation would influence potential manned interstellar mission architectures and the consequences on a long-term technology roadmap. Then, strategies that might hedge against disruptive technologies are presented. Furthermore, a framework for assessing the feasibility of potential technologies is presented, which is based on the social construction of technological feasibility.