A plumber’s guide to Starships – Part VI – Steam Pipes and Heat pipes

posted by Michel Lamontagne on February 15, 2015

There’s a lot of energy in the vaporization phase change. In the form of water changing from a liquid into a gas, it has been at the center of most of the world’s energy production systems for the last century.  Recently, direct energy conversion has started replacing it with wind and photoelectric power, and hydro-power...

› Read more

Revising Civilization

posted by Jacob Shively on January 28, 2015

I first encountered Icarus Interstellar in 2012 and thought, “Yes! This is awesome!” I should be more articulate about “awesome”: Icarus is ambitious and grassroots and exactly the kind of effort needed to sustain profound—even transcendent—goals. When Project Astrolabe advertised its agenda, I leapt at the call for contributions. Over the previous decade, I had...

› Read more


A plumber’s guide to Starships – Part V – Pumps and compressors

posted by Michel Lamontagne on January 18, 2015

The Icarus starship will be powered by a glorious fusion drive pumping out tens of thousands of GigaWatts of power.  This will serve as a handy power source for secondary electrical systems, such as injectors, implosion lasers or propellant ionisation systems, that will themselves require hundreds of GigaWatts of power for their operation.  However, before...

› Read more

Project Voyager – A Map to Navigate our Dynamic Universe

posted by Zach Fejes on December 10, 2014

This is an excerpt taken from a recent article by Zachary Fejes on Discovery Space News. The full article on Discovery can be found here.   “Indulge me, for a moment, in a brief thought experiment. You have just become the pilot of a modern spacecraft, let’s call it the USS Lucky, docked with the...

› Read more

A Plumber’s Guide to Starships- Part 4 – Materials in High Radiation Environments

posted by Michel Lamontagne on November 21, 2014

Materials near a fusion reaction are subject to very high levels of both X-ray and Neutron radiation.  How do they stand up to this? Figure 7 – Material swelling due to radiation damage Even with a nominally “aneutronic” fusion reaction – and much more so with D-D fusion — there will necessarily be a large radiation...

› Read more

Inspiring 8th Graders in East Texas

posted by Richard Obousy on November 6, 2014

On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of attending an 8th grade career inspiration day in my town of Longview, in East Texas. I was thrilled to talk to young kids all about my work with Icarus Interstellar, and all the exciting and profound research and activities we engage in. I’ve been working with the Longview...

› Read more

Interstellar Comparisons

posted by Adam Crowl on October 1, 2014

Travelling to the stars within a human lifetime via the known laws of physics requires energies millions of times more potent than a trip to Mars, for example. In our energy hungry modern world the prospect seems fanciful, yet we are surrounded by energies and forces of comparable scale. By taming those forces we will...

› Read more

A Plumber’s Guide to Starships, Part 3 – Thermal Properties of Materials

posted by Michel Lamontagne on August 29, 2014

Materials are the bedrock upon which we can build starship designs. Outside of science fiction, there is no use postulating a starship drive that requires materials that do not, or cannot, exist. So this article is about materials: what they can do, what we hope future materials can do, and what we expect materials to...

› Read more


Introducing Project Voyager – Interstellar Trajectory and Mission Planning Tool

posted by Andreas Tziolas on August 14, 2014

  It is my pleasure to introduce you to Icarus’s latest research project: Project Voyager Voyager will be led by Project Leader Zach Fejes (, who has built a team of Engineers, Physicists and coders, with objective to design a 2d/3d interstellar trajectory and mission planning tool from the ground up. Many of us met...

› Read more

Introducing Project Astrolabe – Navigating the Future of Civilization

posted by Andreas Tziolas on July 10, 2014

[logo for Project Astrolabe by J. N. Nielsen] Project Astrolabe: Navigating the Future of Civilization J. N. Nielsen Introducing Project Astrolabe Icarus Interstellar will be adding Project Astrolabe to its programs, which will be concerned with the core issues of civilization’s evolution, longevity, and existential risk. It will be the purpose of Project Astrolabe to...

› Read more