Mae Jemison and Team Establish 100 Year Starship With Goal to Make Interstellar Space Travel Reality by 2112

posted by admin on May 17, 2012

HOUSTON, TX, May 17 2012 — The Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence has been selected by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to receive seed funding to form 100 Year Starship(TM) (100YSS(TM)), an independent, non-governmental, long-term initiative which will ensure that the capabilities for human interstellar flight exist as soon as possible, and definitely within the next 100 years. The winning 100YSS proposal “An Inclusive, Audacious Journey Transforms Life Here on Earth and Beyond,” was created by Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence with team members Icarus Interstellar and the Foundation for Enterprise Development.

Former NASA astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison will lead the global multi-partner organization. Dr. Jemison, the world’s first woman of color to travel in space (1992’s Space Shuttle Endeavour), brings to her leadership role her vast experience as an engineer, physician, professor, former Peace Corps medical officer, and entrepreneur. Known for achieving the improbable, Dr. Jemison also brings a spirit of audacity, innovation and inclusion to 100YSS.

“Yes, it can be done. Our current technology arc is sufficient,” says Dr. Jemison. “100 Year Starship is about building the tools we need to travel to another star system in the next hundred years. We’re embarking on a journey across time and space. If my language is dramatic, it is because this project is monumental. This is a global aspiration. And each step of the way, its progress will benefit life on earth. Our team is both invigorated and sobered by the confidence DARPA has in us to start an independent, private initiative to help make interstellar travel a reality.”

100 Year Starship will bring in experts from myriad fields to help achieve its goal – utilizing not only scientists, engineers, doctors, technologists, researchers, sociologists and computer experts, but also architects, writers, artists, entertainers, and leaders in government, business, economics, ethics and public policy. 100YSS will also collaborate with existing space exploration and advocacy efforts from both private enterprise and the government.

In its first year, 100YSS will seek investors, establish membership opportunities, encourage public participation in research projects, and develop the visions for interstellar exploration. A 100 Year Starship Public Symposium will be held in Houston September 13-16, 2012, inaugurating what will be an annual event open to scientific papers, engineering challenges, philosophical and socio-cultural considerations, economic incentives, application of space technologies to improve life on earth, imaginative exploration of the stumbling blocks and opportunities to the stars, and broad public involvement.

The 100 Year Starship also will include a scientific research institute, The Way whose major emphasis will be speculative, long-term science and technology.

Alongside the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence, a non-profit organization that promotes science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) awareness and achievement, the principal 100 Year Starship team members are: Icarus Interstellar, a non-profit research and development organization dedicated to the research that will enable interstellar flight; and the Foundation for Enterprise Development centered on governance, innovation, entrepreneurship, technology and R&D based organizational planning, management, and strategic planning. The SETI Institute, a private, non-profit organization dedicated to astronomy, life sciences, education, and public outreach, will hold a permanent seat on the 100YSS Advisory Council.

To sign up for e-mail alerts from 100 Year Starship or learn more about the 100YSS Public Symposium visit Follow 100 Year Starship on Twitter (@100YSS). Contact 100 Year Starship at

The Daedalus Starship. Designed by members of the British Interplanetary Society
in the 1970s – an inspiration for researchers of today. Image courtesy Adrian Mann.


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24 Responses to Mae Jemison and Team Establish 100 Year Starship With Goal to Make Interstellar Space Travel Reality by 2112

  1. James French says:

    This is an early but significant step on the road to the stars. I feel privileged to be involved

  2. Shen Ge says:

    This is astounding. My associates and I will be delighted to attend this conference. Our organization as well has a similar vision of developing spaceflight for the civilization though on a smaller time scale!

  3. I’ll be there as well, just as an interested member of the public.

  4. Paul Gilster says:

    I plan to be in Texas as well for the conference. Congratulations to the entire Icarus team!

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  6. Elisa Lederer says:

    An amazing project. I’m sure my 16 year old daughter will be attending one of your conferences when she is able to travel on her own.

  7. alejandro says:

    is amazing, unfortunately I will not be able to go since I live in Argentina and I’m not a member of any organization but rather the public.

  8. alejandro says:

    sorry I mis read, lol I thought the conference was in 2012

  9. dublanc lucas martin says:

    I had been working in a cience and technology proyect. wich can distortion and curve the flexible space-time fabric. and i want to present it at the symposium with Darpa. nasa and icarus. i am from Argentina. and took me 6 years to design. i am 26 years old

  10. I would like to thank Dr. Rachel Armstrong for believing in the work I am doing and selecting me to be a member of her team. I am deeply honored and humbled.

  11. Steven Franks says:

    Conference is in 2012. Warping space-time? Hmm . . . Interesting. Present it! Hopefully, wide public envolvement will result from this 100YSS effort and not just a way to funnel time and energy into the “(TM)” centric coffers of a few specialist organizations. See you in September.

  12. John says:

    Seems to me the challenge is economic. Due to the long duration required to travel to other solar systems, there is little return on investment for investors so what we really need is to establish an investment fund that can receive contributions of small amounts from people with an interest in developing space travel until the resources to build a space ship exists. Designing space ships are fun but our current technology leads only to spaceships that can be funded by the travelers themselves or out of generosity of others. So how about a 100YSS fund and website for donations? Goals can be set such as 2% of the fund per annum for studies, designs and management of the fund. And in order to reserve funds for multiple attempts, only 60% of the fund if projected costs of a design can be met. A criteria for project selection can be made by a board of respected academics. We would then have a structure that should eventually fund interstellar travel.

  13. Stephen says:

    John wrote:

    “Seems to me the challenge is economic. Due to the long duration required to travel to other solar systems, there is little return on investment for investors”.

    With all due respect, it is not just the long duration. Just how exactly DO you make a profit out of a venture to another star system?

    Consider the trouble Columbus had in selling the idea of a new route to the Orient. He was finally able to tempt Ferdinand and Isabella with the profits to be had in opening up a new route to the riches of the East. But imagine if that temptation had not been available. Would F & I have given him the time of day, let alone three ships?

    Back in 1997 the SpaceDev Corporation announced it was developing a privately funded unmanned space mission to a near Earth asteroid called NEAP (Near Earth Asteroid Prospector) scheduled to launch in 2001. The goal was to “get data which other companies could buy in order to do their own mining missions to the asteroid” (an asteroid which SpaceDev intended to claim ownership to).

    That mission never flew due to a lack of investor interest.

    There have also been at least two proposals to send privately funded rovers to the moon. They never flew either.

    The plain fact of the matter is that (Google X prizes aside) at the moment there is no viable market in space beyond Earth orbit. No market means no customers, which means no one to sell your product to, which means no one willing to put money–especially large amounts of money–into your venture because (as you point out) there is little hope of them getting their money back, let alone a profit with it.

    It’s a vicious circle, but until that circle is broken the challenge will remain. The problem is how to break it. Doing something about the long duration would undoubtedly help, but it would still fix only part of the problem. Another part is that most trips to the stars for the foreseeable future are likely to one-way only. Customers who don’t come back to available themselves of your product or service a second time are not good news for any business! (If it also means you have to keep building new spaceships each time you send out a batch of customers, instead of reusing existing ones, that would not be healthy either to the long-term viability of the investment.)

    • John says:

      Exactly. The New World was explored for financial gain, not just curiosity. Before Columbus it was fishing expeditions from Scandinavia. Until we find a reason to colonize other worlds that will enrich the mother world, it will never happen.

  14. Lester C, Walker says:

    . . .. sorry I am stuck with that e-mail name. Google says that I should think before I whatever thank you
    L.Chris Walker

  15. Lester C, Walker says:

    send me an e mail
    Did you ever read the story by Heinlien called “Orphans of the Sky” the first interstellar expedition was launched by the Jordan Foundation

  16. Mariel says:

    I blog quite often and I seriously appreciate your content.
    This article has truly peaked my interest. I am going to bookmark
    your site and keep checking for new details about once a week.
    I subscribed to your RSS feed as well.

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  21. Chris Curtis says:

    +אל קרשת+
    Starship Today
    In a 3d video simulation program. Using mks units, put in the static Solar System with sun at the center. The planets do not have to move their positions can be found in the Astronomical Almanac. Put in some near stars in the correct positions and distances. Simple wireframes will do. The numbers will be large but today’s computer architecture should handle it. Put in a moving object, a vessel, a starship with flight controls. Point it to a star. Give it a 360c speed and travel. Program a start button and a stop button. When ready to travel push the start button. On arrival push stop. Don’t be concerned with accelerating to speed or decelerating to stop or propulsion systems or a dynamic solar system. All that comes with the upgrade in astrodynamics methods and software. Just drive.
    Any serious student or practitioner of interstellar travel must know 3d video programming. Andre LaMothe’s course suffices to start.

    Propulsion System
    Internal combustion engines (rocket. train, plane, jet. auto) convert chemical fuel into chemical energy effecting Δv, a change in velocity.

    Photon engines convert photon fuel (light, the universe is an ocean of light) into photon energy, Δfrequency, effecting Δv. Frequency is time. Changing frequency is changing time, time warp.
    Using minimal acceleration, that within the human comfort zone, Δv is attained by time warp, maximizing the time component of velocity.

    Photon engine?
    Starship engine desk lamp for starters. In crystal or plastic in a myriad of sizes, shapes and styles to suit all tastes and budgets. Ready to beautify the home and workplace. And with the star flight simulator software countless hours of interstellar travel fun to enjoy.
    Who is in?
    +אל קרשת+

  22. Chris Curtis says:

    +אל קרשת+
    Until astrodynamics orbit determination methods are upgraded and manual rocket flight simulation achieved, forget about star travel.
    Einstein’s work does not cut it or it would be used for orbit determination instead of the archaic, cumbersome, limited methods in use now.
    The speed of light is relatively constant in nature but it can be exceeded mechanically like the sound barrier.
    If you cannot drive a rocket manually you cannot drive a starship.
    +אל קרשת+

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