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I first met Dr. Young Bae, NIAC Fellow, at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) sponsored 2011, 100 Year Starship Study (100YSS) at Orlando, Fla. Many of us who were there had responded to the NASA/DARPA Tactical Technology Office’s RFP to set up an organization “… to develop a viable and sustainable non-governmental organization for persistent, long-term, private-sector investment into the myriad of disciplines needed to make long-distance space travel viable …”

Yes, both DARPA and NASA are at some level interested in interstellar propulsion. Mine was one of approximately 35 (rumored number) teams from around the world vying for this DARPA grant, and Dr. Bae was with a competing team. I presented the paper “Non-Gaussian Photon Probability Distributions”, and Dr. Bae presented “A Sustainable Developmental Pathway of Photon Propulsion towards Interstellar Flight”. These were early days, the ground zero of interstellar propulsion, if you would.

Dr. Bae has been researching Photon Laser Thrust (PLT) for many years. A video of his latest experiment is available at the NASA website or on YouTube. This PLT uses light photons to move an object by colliding with (i.e. transferring momentum to) the object. The expectation is that this technology will eventually be used to propel space crafts. His most recent experiments demonstrate the horizontal movement of a 1-pound weight. This is impressive. I expect to see much more progress in the coming years.

At one level, Dr. Bae’s experiments are confirmation that Bill Nye’s Light Sail (which very unfortunately lost communications with Earth) will work.

At another level, one wonders why or how the photon, a particle without mass, has momentum that is proportion to the photon’s frequency or energy. A momentum that is observable in Dr. Bae’s and other experiments. This is not a question that contemporary physics asks. Einstein was that meticulous when he derived the Lorentz-FitzGerald Transformations (LFT) from first principles for his Special Theory of Relativity (STR). Therefore, if you think about it, and if we dare to ask the sacrilegious question, does this mean that momentum is a particle’s elementary property that appears to be related to mass? What would we discover if we could answer the question, why does momentum exist in both mass and massless particles? Sure, the short cut don’t bother me answer is, mass-energy equivalence. But why?

At the other end of photon momentum based research is the EmDrive invented by Roger Shawyer. He clearly states that the EmDrive is due to momentum exchange and not due to “quantum vacuum plasma effects”. To vindicate his claims Boeing has received all of his EmDrive designs and test data. This is not something that Boeing does lightly.

In this 2014 video a member of NASA’s Eagleworks explains that the EmDrive (renamed q-thruster) pushes against quantum vacuum, the froth of particle and antiparticle pairs in vacuum. Which raises the question, how can you push against one type and not the other? In 2011, using NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope photographs, Prof. Robert Nemiroff of Michigan Technological University, made the stunning discovery that this quantum foam of particle and antiparticle pairs in a vacuum, does not exist. Unfortunately, this means that the NASA Eagleworks explanation clearly cannot be correct.

So how does the EmDrive work?

In my 2012 book An Introduction to Gravity Modification, I had explained the importance of asymmetrical fields and designs for creating propellantless engines. For example, given a particle in a gravitational field and with respect to this field’s planetary mass source, this particle will observe an asymmetrical gravitational field. The near side of this particle will experience a stronger field than the far side, and thus the motion towards the planetary mass. Granted that this difference is tiny, it is not zero. This was how I was able to determine the massless formula for gravitational acceleration, g=τc^2, where tau τ is the change in the time dilation transformation (dimensionless LFT) divided by that distance. The error in the modeled gravitational acceleration is less than 6 parts per million. Thus validating the asymmetrical approach.

In very basic terms Shawyer’s New Scientist paper suggests that it is due to the conical shape of the EmDrive that causes microwave photons to exhibit asymmetrical momentum exchange. One side of the conical structure with the larger cross section, has more momentum exchange than the other side with the smaller cross section. The difference in this momentum exchange is evidenced as a force.

However, as Dr. Bae points out, from the perspective of legacy physics, conservation of momentum is broken. If not broken, then there are no net forces. If broken, then one observes a net force. Dr. Beckwith (Prof., Chongqing University, China) confirms that Dr. Bae is correct, but the question that needs to be addressed is, could there be any additional effects which would lead to momentum conservation being violated? Or apparently violated?

To be meticulous, since energy can be transmuted into many different forms, we can ask another sacrilegious question. Can momentum be converted into something else? A wave function attribute for example, in a reversible manner, after all the massless photon momentum is directly proportional to its frequency? We don’t know. We don’t have either the theoretical or experimental basis for answering this question either in the positive or negative. Note, this is not the same as perpetual motion machines, as conservation laws still hold.

Shawyer’s work could be confirmation of these additional effects, asymmetrical properties and momentum-wave-function-attribute interchangeability. If so, the future of propulsion technologies lies in photon based propulsion.

Given that Shawyer’s video demonstrates a moving EmDrive, the really interesting question is, can we apply this model to light photons? Or for that matter, any other type of photons, radio, infrared, light, ultraviolet and X-Rays?

(Originally published in the Huffington Post)

International Audacious SpaceInitiative Partners with Brussels-Based ISC Intelligence to Support EU’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Goals to Meet Global Challenges on Earth

BRUSSELS/HOUSTON, March 5, 2015100 Year Starship™ (100YSS™), an independent, long-term global initiative working to ensure that the capabilities for human interstellar travel, beyond our solar system to another star, exist within the next 100 years today announced the establishment of its hub in the European Union. The inaugural [email protected]ä Hub debuted at the ES:GC2 (European Science: Global Challenges Global Collaboration) Conference held by the Brussels partner ISC Intelligence.

The [email protected] Hub will further the 100YSS mission and facilitate robust transatlantic and international collaboration in research and innovation, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) capacity building, entrepreneurship and education projects between organizations, companies, universities and individuals, as well as support the objectives of the EU’s Horizon 2020. The U.S.-based 100YSS began with a competitive seed-funding grant from DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency).

Horizon 2020 is the largest EU Research and Innovation programme ever and is aimed at implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative designed to secure Europe’s global competitiveness.

The [email protected] HUB, a partnership between 100YSS and ISC Intelligence in Science, a Brussels-based science and technology public policy firm, will support the European Union’s commitment to enable European competitiveness, non-dependence, and innovation in space activities and the application of space exploration technologies to address many of the global challenges confronting the world today.

“As history has proven, when we explore space, we garner the greatest benefits here at home—witness the widespread use of GPS, weather data, remote sensing for farming, MRI scans,” said former NASA astronaut, engineer and physician Dr. Mae Jemison, who leads 100YSS. “The raison d’etre of 100YSS is to foster radical leaps in knowledge, technology design, and human systems by using the framework of human interstellar travel to enhance life on earth.”

“The challenges we face travelling beyond our solar system to another star – be it energy, massive data handling, sustainable agriculture, education, financial infrastructure, life support, governance or recyclable clothing — will generate transformative research, knowledge, technology and solutions that will dramatically benefit every nation on Earth in the near term and years to come.”

“The European Union has identified space as a key programme area in Horizon 2020. Building the kind of robust space enterprise the EU envisions, requires transatlantic science collaboration, the very potent ingredient the [email protected] HUB offers us,” said Declan Kirrane, Managing Director, ISC Intelligence in Science.

According to Kirrane, the [email protected] Hub will support the EU’s research and exploration projects through a variety of initiatives. They include collaborative international projects in basic sciences and cutting edge space technology and their commercial application including in developing countries; support of bold STEM initiatives such as R&D and innovation accelerator centers; transdisciplinary programs and workshops; international advocacy and best practice STEM education programs; and robust outreach that galvanizes public support.

The [email protected] Hub marks the first such Hub created by 100YSS. Another Hub is soon to be established in South Africa with the Da Vinci Institute.

Both Hubs are part of a global network of research and innovation centers 100YSS is building whose activities include transatlantic collaborations and partnerships with Africa and other emerging regions. The centers partner with governments, industry, academia, and social sector organizations worldwide.

Led by Dr. Jemison, 100YSS is an inclusive initiative. It fosters an approach that first recognizes and then both optimally employs and develops the skills, talents, expertise and perspectives of individuals across gender, ethnicity, race, geography and disciplines. As the first African American woman to travel in space (1992’s Space Shuttle Endeavour), Dr. Jemison brings to her leadership role her vast experience as an engineer, physician, former Peace Corps medical officer, and entrepreneur. Jemison is joined in 100YSS by an impressive cadre of physical, life and social scientists, engineering researchers, entrepreneurs, policy experts, educators and university professors, media professionals, writers and artists.


100 Year Starship® (100YSS), an independent, non-governmental, long-term initiative to ensure the capabilities for human interstellar flight exist as soon as possible, and definitely within the next 100 years. 100YSS was started in 2012 with seed-funding through a competitive grant from DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) and support from NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) for the purpose of fostering the type of explosive innovation and technology and social advances born from addressing such an incredible challenge. 100YSS is part of the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence. For more information, visit

On social media:


Twitter: @100YSS

ABOUT ISC Intelligence

ISC is a Brussels-based communication firm specialized in science, technology and R&D research and policy. ISC provides intelligence on science and innovation policy and programs and has over a decade of experience in science communication at the European and international levels. For more information, visit

On social media:

Twitter: @iscintelligence

ISC Contact:

Declan Kirrane

ISC Intelligence in Science

[email protected]

+32 (0) 2 88 88 109

100YSS Contact:

Stephanie Hornback/Cynthia Carway

Carway Communications, Inc.

[email protected]


logo for the symposium transparent b100 Year Starship announces a Call for Papers for the 100YSS 2014 Public Symposium. The Symposium will be held September 18–21 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas, United States.

You’re invited to submit your abstract for one of the eight Technical Tracks or Poster Session and be a part of our transdisciplinary scope to include the broadest swath of ideas and people for our mission. Abstract deadline is 20 June, 2014.

The Pathway to the Stars, Footprints on Earth theme still guides the focus of 100YSS’s Public Symposium. It compels us to continue our journey and maintain our mission. Last year, our participants explored different avenues of fundamental research, technology development, societal systems, and capacities that facilitate ready access to our inner solar system. This year we move that focus forward with more in-depth access to emerging and cutting edge topics – expanding our view of design, creating new pathways in education, discovering psychology, and cutting edge transportation methods. Using a collaborative and Transdisciplinary approach to capability and capacity building, our mission will continue to support our efforts to enhance life here on earth…today. Join us as we log another year in our 100-year mission at the 100YSS 2014 Public Symposium.

Below are the tracks for our 2014 Call For Papers.

Propulsion and Energy

How fast and how far can we travel? Fundamental breakthroughs in propulsion and energy are required for interstellar travel to be feasible. To overcome the formidable time-distance barrier for travel between stars, robust leaps in theory and engineering for energy production, control and storage must occur, as well as the advancement and demonstration of propulsion techniques.

Data, Communications and Information Technology

Sending and receiving information by interstellar travelers or robotic vehicles requires development new methods to traverse the vast emptiness between stars. Additionally, in the absence of routine and timely communication with Earth, a probe or traveler must be self-sufficient in gathering, generating, compiling, storing, analyzing and retrieving data while ensuring these systems are operational over the lifetime of the mission and beyond.

Designing for Interstellar

Design for interstellar probes and crewed vehicles must address the unique characteristics and extreme environment of interstellar space. The equipment, structures, tools, materials, buildings, furniture, cleaning and maintenance processes, clothing—the accouterments of life and work— surround and create an environment. This environment protects, nourishes and facilitates daily activities. For most living things, their environment must fulfill many physical needs and for higher order creatures, physical, mental and emotional requirements need be met as well. Understanding, optimizing and manufacturing design to make these aspects of daily activities sustainable are critical for any hope of successful interstellar flight—with a living crew or robotic probes.

“Uncharted” Space and Destinations

Understanding the interstellar medium and the composition of exosolar systems is vital as we contemplate travel to the stars. In addition, as our gaze is drawn many light years away, focusing on closer objectives as stepping stones to deep space will be essential. Beyond Mars, what missions should be designed to eventuate successful travel to another star? How should potential destinations be evaluated? What do we know and how do we learn more about space between the stars?

Interstellar Education

The journey beyond our solar system will overwhelm current educational practices. Commonly held beliefs and understandings of “learning” must and will be challenged. It is probable that humans have huge untapped capacities. Innovative learning tools and educational structures are needed for syntheses of ever-increasing information. The interstellar education platform will drive new knowledge of the universe and the development of the workforce that can create all that will be needed for interstellar travel. What are these new educational paradigms? What is education’s role—formal and informal—in producing interstellar citizens?

Life Sciences in Space Exploration

As ”Earth-evolved” humans, plants and other life forms travel deeper in space, we must understand much more about the fundamentals of life mechanisms. We must prepare for radical shifts in nutrition, potential therapeutics, growth and development, physiology and ethics. Concurrently, as we search for life beyond the earth we may need to re-evaluate our perspective of what is defined as “life”. Also, how might we use the interstellar environment itself for life science research?

Becoming an Interstellar Civilization

Are humans driven to search beyond our knowledge base? How and in response to what do we create the belief systems that guide us? Interstellar travel is not just about the physical trip, but must include the journey civilizations take together. Who will we be and what will define our societies, morality, ethics, cultures, laws, economies, relationships and identities?

Interstellar Innovations Enhancing Life on Earth

Technology progresses in small increments and by leaps and bounds. Often the biggest steps forward are through the invention and innovation required to meet grand challenges. Interstellar travel represents such a challenge that may spur new economies, combat climate change, address heretofore incurable diseases. This session asks “What are these innovations and how can we deploy these to enhance life here on Earth?”

Poster Sessions

Great ideas arise through unique individual observations, from people of all ages and educational backgrounds. The Poster Sessions are an opportunity to present snapshots of these early concepts and experiments. Poster sessions are a great forum to communicate any commercial opportunities in space or here on earth and seek like-minded collaborators or investors. Presentation in the poster format allows in-depth discussion in a small group setting. Topics are open.


Submissions can be perspectives on the central dogma, experimental results, and review of a specific topic. You must ensure that it fits the track topic to which you are submitting. Individual presentations will only be presented in one track. Individuals do not have to be associated with an institution to submit an abstract. Please note that materials should be non-commercial in content, any commercial presentation that communicates a service, technology or product can be submitted to our poster session.

Submissions will be reviewed based on bona fide field of inquiry/thought/research that derive from validated in patents, literature, mathematics or practice. The data submitted should represent one or more of the following:

  • Actual data or background search generated presents a challenge to current dogma or asks a significant question
  • Data moves the field forward or clarifies some aspect of the field
  • Solves a problem acknowledged in the field
  • Provides a novel, well supported integration and/or review of field and proposes specific concept

Submitted abstracts are well written, 300 word, concise and includes a statement of the following items. If actual data, results and conclusions are not available, please provide a well though out plan for how the information will be generated.

  • Background
  • Problem and hypothesis
  • Experimental design (or literature review)
  • Data
  • Results
  • Conclusions and Discussion

For Social Science submissions, (e.g. Interstellar Education and Becoming an Interstellar Civilization Tracks), the following guidelines apply for the abstract, presentation and paper submissions. The submissions should:

  • Articulate the issue or research question to be discussed,
  • Indicate the methodological or critical framework used, and
  • Indicate the findings or conclusions to be presented and/or the relevance to wider conference themes.

Presentations and papers can present any kind of research or analysis, but it should be written so that the importance of the work can be understood by reviewers working in different disciplines or using different approaches. Cross- or trans-discipline work is especially encouraged.

100YSS Poster Submissions

In order to provide a broader audience the opportunity to present their ideas, there will be on option to present a poster for your submission. All authors are welcome to present in the Poster session. Individuals can submit for poster session only. A Track Chair may also select submissions for a poster presentation. Individuals or companies advertising a service, technology or product can submit for poster only presentations. If you are a commercial entity, the poster session may be the perfect opportunity to present you idea. Each poster must fit into the 100YSS mission and provide a valid line of inquiry. The final submission should be 4ft x 4ft or 122 cm x 122 cm.

2014 Call for Papers Timeline

  • Call for papers opens: 11 April
  • Abstracts due: 20 June
  • Notification of acceptance: 15 July
  • If accepted, Presentations and Posters Due: 10 September

The 100YSS Style Guide for Papers will be provided to presenters on acceptance of abstract.

To submit your abstract, visit:

Please note that you will be asked to create an account to submit your abstract. Registration for the symposium itself is coming soon.

Private Space exploration is gaining a lot of attention in the media today. It is expected to be the next big thing after social media, technology, and probably bio fuels . Can we take this further? With DARPA sponsoring the formation of the 100 Year Starship Study (100YSS) in 2011, can we do interstellar propulsion in our life times?

The Xodus One Foundation thinks this is feasible. To that end the Foundation has started the KickStarter project Ground Zero of Interstellar Propulsion to fund and accelerate this research. This project ends Fri, May 9 2014 7:39 AM MDT.

The community of interstellar propulsion researchers can be categorized into three groups, those who believe it cannot be done (Nay Sayers Group – NSG), those who believe that it requires some advanced form of conventional rockets (Advanced Rocket Group – ARG), and those who believe that it needs new physics (New Physics Group – NPG).

The Foundation belongs to the third group, the New Physics Group. The discovery in 2007 of the new massless formula for gravitational acceleration g=τc^2 , where τ is the change in time dilation over a specific height divided by that height, led to the inference that there is a new physics for interstellar propulsion that is waiting to be discovered.

What would this physics look like if nothing can travel faster than light? Founder & Chairman, Benjamin T Solomon, of the Xodus One Foundation believes that the answer lies in our understanding of photon probability. Can we discover enough physics to figure out how to control photon probability?

To facilitate this discovery one can participate in the Ground Zero of Interstellar Propulsion. If Solomon is right …

I am very pleased to say that the 2013 100YSS conference held in Houston, TX, was a success. I met a lot of like minded people — people who want to make interstellar travel a reality — though we differ in our opinions of when.

I was especially pleased to be able to visit with Mae Jemison, Jill Tarter and Pamela Contag. These three are amazing, shepherding us along. Shepherding us? Yes, are a loose collection of visionaries going every which way.

Mae Jemison
Jill Tarter
Pamela Contag

If, we as a community, are intending to accelerate the development of interstellar travel we have to glower at the record and ask ourselves some tough questions. First, what is the current record of the primary players? Second, why is everyone afraid to try something outside the status quo theories?

At the present time the primary players are associated with the DARPA funded 100-Year Starship Study, as Icarus Interstellar who is cross linked with The Tau Zero Foundation and Centauri Dreams is a team member of the 100YSS. I was surprised to find Jean-Luc Cambier on Tau Zero.

Gary Church recently put the final nail in the Icarus Interstellar‘s dreams to build a rocket ship for interstellar travel. In his post on Lifeboat, Cosmic Ray Gorilla Gary Church says “it is likely such a shield will massive over a thousand tons”. Was he suggesting that the new cost of an interstellar rocket ship is not 3.4x World GDP but 34x or 340x World GDP? Oops!

Let us look at the record. Richard Obousy of Icarus Interstellar and Eric Davis of Institute for Advanced Studies claimed that it was possible, using string theories to travel at not just c, the velocity of light but at 1E32c, or c multiplied by a 1 followed by 32 zeros. However, Lorentz-FitzGerald transformations show that anything with mass cannot travel faster than the velocity of light. Note that Lorentz-FitzGerald is an empirical observation which was incorporated into Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity.

It is quite clear that you can use string theories to say anything you want. I used the term ‘mathematical conjecture’.

In April 2008 the esteemed Michio Kaku said in his Space Show interview, that it would take several hundred years to do gravity modification. But Michio Kaku is a string theorist himself. And I might add down to Earth one at that, since his opinion contradicts Richard Obousy and Eric Davis.

Then there is George Hathaway also with the Tau Zero Foundation who could not reproduce Podkletnov’s experiments, even when he was in communication with Podkletnov.

And this is the one group our astronaut Mae Jemison, leader of the 100YSS effort, has teamed up with? My sincerest condolences to you Mae Jemison. Sincerest condolences.

For the answer to the second question, you have to look within yourselves.


Benjamin T Solomon is the author & principal investigator of the 12-year study into the theoretical & technological feasibility of gravitation modification, titled An Introduction to Gravity Modification, to achieve interstellar travel in our lifetimes. For more information visit iSETI LLC, Interstellar Space Exploration Technology Initiative.

Solomon is inviting all serious participants to his LinkedIn Group Interstellar Travel & Gravity Modification.

To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts, Legal Standing, Safety Awareness, Economic Viability, Theoretical-Empirical Relationships, and Technological Feasibility.

In this set of posts I discuss three concepts. If implemented these concepts have the potential to bring about major changes in our understanding of the physical Universe. But first a detour.

In my earlier post I had suggested that both John Archibald Wheeler and Richard Feynman, giants of the physics community, could have asked different questions (what could we do differently?) regarding certain solutions to Maxwell’s equations, instead of asking if retrocausality could be a solution.

I worked 10 years for Texas Instruments in the 1980s & 1990s. Corporate in Dallas, had given us the daunting task of raising our Assembly/Test yields from 83% to 95%, within 3 years, across 6,000 SKUs (products), with only about 20+ (maybe less) engineers, and no assistance from Dallas. Assembly/Test skills had moved offshore, therefore, Dallas was not in a position to provide advice. I look back now and wonder how Dallas came up with the 95% number.

Impossibly daunting because many of our product yields were in the 70+%. We had good engineers and managers. The question therefore was how do you do something seemingly impossible, without changing your mix of people, equipment and technical skills sets?

Let me tell you the end first. We achieved 99% to 100% Assembly/Test yields across the board for 6,000 SKUs within 3 years. And this, in a third world nation not known for any remarkable scientific or engineering talent! I don’t have to tell you what other lessons we learned from this as it should be obvious. So me telling Dr. David Neyland, of DARPA’s TTOI’ll drop a zero” at the first 100YSS conference in 2011, still holds.

How did we do it? For my part I was responsible for Engineering Yield (IT) Systems, test operation cost modeling for Overhead Transfer Pricing, and tester capacity models to figure out how to increase test capacity. But the part that is relevant to this discussion was team work. We organized the company into teams, brought in consultants to teach what team work was and how to arrive at and execute operational and business decisions as teams.

And one of the keys to team work was to allow anyone and everyone to speak up. To voice their opinions. To ask questions, no matter how strange or silly those questions appeared to be. To never put down another person because he/she had different views.

Everyone from the managing director of the company down to the production operators were organized into teams. Every team had to meet once a week. To ask those questions. To seek those answers. That was some experience, working with and in those teams. We found things we did not know or understand about our process. That in turn set off new & old teams to go figure! We understood the value of a matrix type organization.

As a people not known for any remarkable scientific and engineering talent, we did it! Did the impossible. I learned many invaluable lessons from my decade at Texas Instruments that I’ll never forget and will always be grateful for.

My Thanksgiving this year is that I am thankful I had the opportunity to work for Texas Instruments when I did.

So I ask, in the spirit of the Kline Directive, can we as a community of physicists and engineers come together, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not, to make interstellar travel a reality within our lifetimes?

Previous post in the Kline Directive series.

Next post in the Kline Directive series.


Benjamin T Solomon is the author & principal investigator of the 12-year study into the theoretical & technological feasibility of gravitation modification, titled An Introduction to Gravity Modification, to achieve interstellar travel in our lifetimes. For more information visit iSETI LLC, Interstellar Space Exploration Technology Initiative.

Solomon is inviting all serious participants to his LinkedIn Group Interstellar Travel & Gravity Modification.

To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts, Legal Standing, Safety Awareness, Economic Viability, Theoretical-Empirical Relationships, and Technological Feasibility.

In this post I will explore Technological Feasibility. At the end of the day that is the only thing that matters. If a hypothesis is not able to vindicate itself with empirical evidence it will not become technologically feasible. If it is not technologically feasible then it stands no chance of becoming commercially viable.

If we examine historical land, air and space speed records, we can construct and estimate of velocities that future technologies can achieve, aka technology forecasting. See table below for some of the speed records.

Year Fastest Velocity Craft Velocity (km/h) Velocity (m/s)
2006 Escape Earth New Horizons 57,600 16,000
1976 Capt. Eldon W. Joersz and Maj. George T. Morgan Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird 3,530 980
1927 Car land speed record (not jet engine) Mystry 328 91
1920 Joseph Sadi-Lecointe Nieuport-Delage NiD 29 275 76
1913 Maurice Prévost Deperdussin Monocoque 180 50
1903 Wilbur Wright at Kitty Hawk Wright Aircraft 11 3

A quick and dirty model derived from the data shows that we could achieve velocity of light c by 2151 or the late 2150s. See table below.

Year Velocity (m/s) % of c
2200 8,419,759,324 2808.5%
2152 314,296,410 104.8%
2150 274,057,112 91.4%
2125 49,443,793 16.5%
2118 30,610,299 10.2%
2111 18,950,618 6.3%
2100 8,920,362 3.0%
2075 1,609,360 0.5%
2050 290,351 0.1%
2025 52,384 0.0%

The extrapolation suggests that on our current rate of technological innovation we won’t achieve light speed until the late 2150s. The real problem is that we won’t achieve 0.1c until 2118! This is more than 100-years from today.

In my opinion this rate of innovation is too slow. Dr. David Neyland, of DARPA’s TTO was the driving force behind DARPA’s contribution to the 100-year Starship Study. When I met up with Dr. David Neyland during the first 100YSS conference, Sept. 30 to Oct 2, 2011, I told him “I’ll drop a zero”. That is I expect interstellar travel to be achievable in decades not centuries. And to ramp up our rate of technological innovation we need new theories and new methods of sifting through theories.

Previous post in the Kline Directive series.


Benjamin T Solomon is the author & principal investigator of the 12-year study into the theoretical & technological feasibility of gravitation modification, titled An Introduction to Gravity Modification, to achieve interstellar travel in our lifetimes. For more information visit iSETI LLC, Interstellar Space Exploration Technology Initiative.

Solomon is inviting all serious participants to his LinkedIn Group Interstellar Travel & Gravity Modification.