NASA News – The 100 year starship 1


An announcement has been made by the NASA Ames Director,Pete Worden. The exciting news is that they have started a project with DARPA called the Hundred Year Starship. In response some blogs are going nuts over this news … here are a couple of quotes I mined …

A SENIOR NASA official has promised to deliver a spaceship that will travel between alien worlds “within a few years …

“Within a few years we will see the first true prototype of a spaceship that will take us between worlds.”

OK, yes I love the project name and I applaud the ambition, but you may want to check their budget before you make plans to beam up. Apparently they have $1 million funding from DARPA and $100K from NASA. Er … wait, was that just $1 million? So please do enlighten me, how the heck do you fold space-time on that budget? If you really wish to build a starship, I suspect that quite a few more zeros may be needed, so unless they propose to build the Enterprise using cardboard, I can’t quite see them going anywhere at any speed let alone warp speed.

Actually, what is really going on here is a bit long-term (very long term) thinking. The context of this was a speech given by the NASA director at the “long conversation” a Long Now Foundation event in San Francisco. So, if you are now wondering “Who?”, well they just happen to be a foundation that was … using their own words … “established in 01996 to creatively foster long-term thinking and responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years”.

So, perhaps its best to listen to what he actually said and cut out all the media hype between you and him …

Long Conversation – Pete Worden Announces 100-Year Starship from The Long Now Foundation on Vimeo.

So there you have it … its simply about starting a stream of mini-grants to nurture the technology that will get us a starship in 100 years. Thats all he said, nothing more.

Oh bugger … no starship soon … that scuppers my travel plans then, and there I was so looking forward to having a go on the holodeck.


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