2013 Announcement

Starship Congress 2013 is now over! Thanks to everyone who attended, supported via Kickstarter or other donation, and those of you who watched online. Your support helped make Starship Congress 2013 a terrific success.

The 2015 Starship Congress: Interstellar Hackathon has been announced!

Check out our 2013 Videos page. And read this article by Ian O’Neill on Discovery Space, summarizing Starship Congress 2013.

The drive to explore is one of our most basic impulses; going interstellar would be the pinnacle of what it is to be human. Therefore, space exploration is not a luxury, it’s an evolutionary imperative. – Ian O’Neill

Below is the original Starship Congress 2013 announcement.


Icarus Interstellar is proud to announce The Icarus Interstellar Starship Congress to be held in Dallas, Texas, August 15-18 at the Hilton Anatole.

The Icarus Interstellar Starship Congress aims to bring together the interstellar community to foster discussion and generate tangible action. Our ambition is to move humanity toward becoming an interstellar civilization, with a broad campaign of exploration and migration to begin by the year 2100.

For 2013, the Icarus Interstellar Starship Congress is a four-day event. The first three days are dedicated to interstellar accomplishments in specific timescales: Interstellar Now (Next 20 Years), Interstellar This Lifetime (20-50 Years), and Interstellar Future (50 Years+). These are the near-term, medium-term and long-term focuses necessary for the realization of our ambition. The fourth day will be a wrap-up of the Starship Congress with a chance to network and plan for the future.

Presenters are a combination of scientists, physicists, engineers, researchers, and representatives from international space programs and present-day commercial space operators, as well as popular and well-known interstellar speakers and space journalists. Special note: Day 3 presenters include Science Fiction celebrities, authors and creators. The fourth day is for discussion of future plans and a summary of the congress.

Day 1 – Interstellar Now (Next 20 Years) | Thursday, August 15th 2013

Day 1 will focus on what can be feasibly realized over the next two decades. This includes interstellar precursor missions, exploration of the solar system, fission-based energy generation and propulsion technology, robotic and crewed exploration of and expansion into our solar system, and the social and economic building blocks necessary to see us move toward becoming an interstellar civilization. Other technologies include solar sails, beamed energy systems, nuclear fission-based systems and novel earth-to-orbit launch systems. Other possible topics include:

Technology issues common to, and different from, terrestrial fission for power generation and space propulsion.

Risk mitigation against human failure, hostile agents, or unexpected events, to prevent explosive release of huge amounts of potential energy kept in relatively small volumes.

Persuasion of Earth’s population to pay for a research probe, both in monetary and energy costs.

Day 2 – Interstellar This Lifetime (20 -50 years) | Friday, August 16th 2013

Day 2 will focus on what can be accomplished on a timescale to begin 20 years from now, out to the next 50 years. Areas of interest will include fusion rockets, antimatter rockets, future economics, colonizing and populating the solar system, asteroid mining, and commercialization of space. Other possible topics include:

The effect of changing international politics on the continued funding and staffing of a century-long mission.

Protection of a probe against future, unknown cyber attack, from factions hostile to space-faring on earth.

The effect of population demographics on the time profile of space travel.

Day 3 – Interstellar Future (50 years +) | Saturday, August 17th 2013

Day 3 will focus on what we can accomplish on very long timescales beginning 50 years from now and extending out to the next 500 years. Areas of interest will include exploring and populating nearby star systems, the ethics of colonization, SETI and first-contact scenarios, exotic propulsion, warp drives, wormholes, vacuum energy, worldships, hibernation ships and humanity’s expansion into the galaxy. Other possible topics include:

Education and research technology and facilities on a starship.

Value engineering of such huge projects and predicting when stellar migration will be available to all.

Evolving closed communities in space: protection of minorities, limiting religious extremism, degree of autonomy from the population that funded their mission.

The effect on emotional stability of space-farers caused by permanent separation from extended family and Earth

The sociological consequences of deciding on a single large ship against multiple smaller communities.

Day 4 – Starship Congress Summary | Sunday, August 18th 2013

Day 4 will be a half-day event for summarizing the Starship Congress, networking, and making future plans.


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